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Level of discrimination in Hungary among highest in Europe October 30, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, disabled people, discriminated, Discrimination, EU.

Discrimination in the workplace in Hungary is among the highest in Europe, and mainly the older generations have to face serious problems, writes a recent report by human resources consulting firm Kelly Services. The company analyzed data from 28 countries and 70,000 people, finding that Hungary is the fourth most discriminating among them, and the second among the 16 European states. Of Hungarian respondents, 65% said they felt they had been discriminated against at their workplaces in the last five years.

On February 1, 2005, the Equal Treatment Authoriy (Egyenlő Bánásmód Hatóság; EBH) was formed – on the basis of an EU requirement – to give people another forum to turn to with complaints related to discrimination. Previously, theit only option was to turn to the courts, where legal battles can take several years and prove extremely expensive.

“The Equal Treatment Authoriy investigates cases within a maximum of 105 days and costs the victims nothing,” Edit Gyarmati, main department head of the EBH, told daily Magyar Hírlap.

Between January and September, 400 cases were reported to the EBH, 133 of which have been closed with a decision, with a further 250 still under investigation. The most frequent problem is discrimination at the workplace, which mainly affects disabled people, Romas (Gypsies) and mothers with small children. The largest fine the EBH has issued so far was Ft 1.3 million (roughly €5,000) to two companies and a human resources firm working for them, because they rejected Roma applicants for a position after “interviews” that lasted only 30 seconds.

Rights protection organizations think forming the EBH was a big step towards solving the problem, however, its small budget does not make it capable of performing large-scale investigations. This year, it has Ft 202 million (€769,000) to spend, and 15 people work for it. Less than half its employees investigate cases, while others work in administrative or other departments.

The EBH is authroized to work all over Hungary, which means victims do not have to travel to Budapest with their complaints, but will be visited at their homes.

Gyarmati added she does not have a reason to complain, although the number of people working for her is small, but they form an exccellent and highly trained team.

Source: Caboodle.hu

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