MINELRES: ERRC Welcomes Hungary's New Minority Ombudsman

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Jun 18 18:42:42 2007

Original sender: European Roma Rights Centre <errc@errc.org>

ERRC Welcomes Hungary's New Minority Ombudsman  

The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) welcomes the appointment of Mr.
Erno Kallai as the new Parliamentary Commissioner for National and
Ethnic Minority Rights (Minority Ombudsman). Mr. Kallai assumes the
position as of 11 June 2007, formerly held by Mr. Jeno Kaltenbach. The
ERRC is confident that Mr. Kallai will build upon the excellent work
carried out by Mr. Kaltenbach who served as the Ombudsman from 1995
until his mandate ended in June 2007.

The ERRC is pleased that Mr. Kallai prioritises the integration of
Romani minority into the Hungarian society and describes this objective
as a “crucial question”. The ERRC firmly supports the idea of economic
and social integration; to date the Roma remain the most deprived ethnic
group in Europe. The fundamental rights of Roma are still being violated
on a regular basis even in the most developed countries. They are
subject to discrimination in accessing employment, education, health
care, and public and social services. There are also alarming reports
regarding violations of housing rights of the Roma all around Europe.
Adding all this together, it can be affirmed that the situation of the
Roma is a litmus test regarding how much minority rights are really
respected in a country. We believe that being of Roma origin himself,
Mr. Kallai has first hand experience with the problems that the Roma
face in Hungary and his ‘insider’ vision might add novel dimensions to
the tasks he will embrace in his new post.  

The ERRC believes that the work of Minority Ombudsman is imperative in
advancing minority rights in Hungary. Mr. Kallai’s personal and academic
background presents an ideal blend to address the minority rights issues
of the Roma in an effectual and resourceful manner; especially in the
fields of employment, education and housing. 

The ERRC looks forward to working with Mr. Kallai to add even more
accomplishments to the commendable attainments of his predecessor, Mr.
Kaltenbach. The ERRC expresses its warmest welcome and wishes great
success to Erno Kallai in improving the quality of life for all
minorities in Hungary in his new position.


The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law
organisation which monitors the human rights situation of Roma and
provides legal defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more
information about the European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the
web at http://www.errc.org 

To support the ERRC, please visit this link:

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93
Tel: +36.1.413.2200

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