Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Project against Discrimination in Hungary

Press Release

The goal of this project is to find, sanction and ultimately reduce incidents of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, color, economic status, religion and ideology faced by migrants living in Hungary in order to further their integration.

To map discrimination against migrants and better understand the discriminatory situations they face, Menedék will establish a monitoring network with the participation of NGOs, authorities and organisations that come into contact with migrants on a regular basis. To ensure the efficiency of the monitoring network, Menedék will hold a training where the network's participants can better understand the definition of discrimination, its legal background and the means to reveal and prove discriminatory practices.

The participants of the monitoring network will forward the incidents that appear to be discriminatory to Menedék, who will then conduct fact finding visits and contact the relevant authorities if necessary. During the project Menedék will provide legal representation to the victims of discrimination in a few important cases before the Equal Treatment Authority or in court.

Just as importantly, in a few cases where the suspicion of discrimination arises Menedék will use testing to prove the discriminatory practices. Based on the signals arriving through the monitoring network, Menedék will send an African and a white Hungarian tester to the employer, bar, restaurant or landlord suspected of discrimination.

The testers will receive a thorough training on discrimination and how to conduct the testing in a manner that is the most useful for the purposes of the project. After the training they will visit the selected bars etc. and write a report together with the coordinators of the project on their findings.

In principle one tester would only have to conduct a single visit for which Menedék can pay a small fee. The testers will be invited for training towards the end of January and later to be available during the year for a single visit.

For the purposes of the project the testers need to speak Hungarian well and be willing to conduct the visit and write a short report afterward. Their help will provide invaluable hard evidence in cases against bars, restaurants and others using discriminatory practices.

Contact János Lastofka, Menedék Association for Migrants +36 20 41 42 962

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