Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC)
http://helsinki.hu/en/
 
Source description last updated: 19 October 2015
 
In brief: The Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) is an NGO established in 1989 in order to ensure the implementation of human rights guaranteed in national or international legislation.
 
Coverage on ecoi.net:
Human rights reports on the asylum system.
Covered quarterly on ecoi.net, for countries of priorities A-E (all countries).
 
Mission/Mandate/Objectives:
“The Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) is a human rights NGO founded in 1989. It monitors the enforcement in Hungary of human rights enshrined in international human rights instruments, provides legal defense to victims of human rights abuses by state authorities and informs the public about rights violations. The HHC strives to ensure that domestic legislation guarantee the consistent implementation of human rights norms. The HHC promotes legal education and training in fields relevant to its activities, both in Hungary and abroad. The HHC’s main areas of activities are centered on monitoring the human rights performance of law enforcement agencies and the judicial system, as well as protecting the rights of asylum seekers and foreigners in need of international protection. It particularly focuses on access to justice, the conditions of detention and the effective enforcement of the right to defense and equality before the law.” (Hungarian Helsinki Committee: Annual Report 2014, undated, p.1)
 
“After over 15 years, the HHC remains the only independent provider of free legal assistance to foreigners in need of international protection in Hungary and the only implementing partner of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in this respect.” (Hungarian Helsinki Committee Annual Report 2014, undated, p. 10)
 
Funding:
Funded by UNHCR, the Open Society Institute, the European Commission, the European Refugee Fund, the European Return Fund, the Trust for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe, the Oak Foundation, the European Programme for Integration and Migration and private donations.
 
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Hungary and neighbouring regions.
Thematic focus: Human rights of citizens, detainees, refugees and asylum seekers.
 
Methodology:
HHC reports on prison conditions have been compiled after the “the HHC carried out extensive desk research into the law and practice of detaining children in Hungary. The HHC also gained access to reformatories (correctional facilities) for juveniles and special homes for children, and conducted altogether 21 human rights monitoring visits to penitentiary institutions for juveniles, juvenile reformatories, special homes for children, immigration jails, asylum detention facilities, and the Judicial and Observation Psychiatric Institute.” (Hungarian Helsinki Committee: Annual Report 2014, undated, p.5)
 
For a project on the situation of Roma people in the criminal system “[r]esearch activities included interviews with approximately 400 convicted inmates about their criminal case and their experiences in prison, the assessment of their penitentiary documentation, and a research into the court case files of 90 inmates. In addition, focus-group discussions with penitentiary staff members were carried out in three penitentiary institutions.” (Hungarian Helsinki Committee: Annual Report 2014, undated, p.6)
 
A project on disciplinary measures in detention centres “was based on the analysis of the international and domestic legal framework, local prison rules and regulations; a questionnaire-based case-file research of 120 disciplinary procedures; interviews with prison staff and penitentiary judges; and providing legal representation to detainees under a disciplinary procedure.” (Hungarian Helsinki Committee: Annual Report 2014, undated, p.6)
 
Language(s) of publications:
English and Hungarian.
 
Further reading / links:
HHC - Hungarian Helsinki Committee: Country Information in Asylum Procedures – Quality as a Legal Requirement in the EU, 4 December 2007 (available at ecoi.net)
http://www.ecoi.net/file_upload/432_1200660145_coi-in-asylum-procedures-final-web-version.pdf
 
HHC - Hungarian Helsinki Committee: Annual Report 2014, undated
http://helsinki.hu/wp-content/uploads/HHC-annual-report-2014-final.pdf
 
HHC - Hungarian Helsinki Committee: Credibility Assessment in Asylum Procedures – a Multidisciplinary Training Manual, Volume 2, 16 January 2015 (available at ecoi.net)
http://www.ecoi.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/HHC-CREDO-training-manual-2nd-volume-online-final.pdf
 
HHC - Hungarian Helsinki Committee: The Refugee Law Reader – Cases, Documents, and Materials –Seventh Edition, 27 February 2015
http://www.refugeelawreader.org/images/Syllabus-2015-02-27-US-WEB.pdf
 
All links accessed 19 October 2015.
 
ecoi.net summary:
The HHC's main areas of activities are centred on protecting the rights of asylum seekers and foreigners in need of international protection, as well as monitoring the human rights performance of law enforcement agencies and the judicial system. Online: asylum-law reader (equivalentum of a 48-hour-course); cases, analysis, reports (all focused on hungary), links
Homepage:
http://helsinki.hu/
Search:
All documents available on ecoi.net from this source