Video: Rough Sleeping Ban In Hungary Aimed At ‘Saving Lives’

  • 16 Oct 2018 8:20 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Video: Rough Sleeping Ban In Hungary Aimed At ‘Saving Lives’
Regulations banning rough sleepers from public areas, effective from Monday, are aimed at “saving lives”, a state secretary of the human resources ministry said.

The new rules are instrumental in preventing homeless people from freezing in public spaces in winter and help all those living in the street to homeless shelters, Bence Rétvári said.

He insisted that “there have always been” enough beds at those facilities. Homeless facilities will help clients to “social services, clothing, (regular) jobs or participation in public works schemes, or training”, the official said, adding that “it is obvious that the way out of homelessness is through these temporary shelters”.

According to Rétvári, the government is spending 9 billion forints (EUR 28m) on homeless services this year and is in cooperation with “several hundred” charity organisations. Rétvári said that the new rules were necessary because “earlier regulations were unsuitable to eliminate homelessness”.

Hajnalka Juhász, MP of the co-ruling Christian Democrats, told a press conference that homeless shelters were “prepared” for the winter season with a total of 19,000 beds, complete with facilities for personal hygiene and health services.

She said that the shelters were open around the clock and added that “apart from police officers, social workers also facilitate communication with the homeless”. The government wants the homeless “feel that they are not abandoned”, the deputy said.

The opposition Párbeszéd party said it would appeal to the Constitutional Court, arguing that destroying the possessions of homeless people, as facilitated by the new rules, would be wrong. “Fidesz has declared war against homeless people rather than homelessness,” Bence Tordai, a deputy for the party, told a press conference.

He added that the government needed “a new enemy to replace the now distressed image of migrants”. An appeal to the top court requires the support of 50 MPs.

Related links

Hungary: There Are Sufficient Places For Those In Need

  • How does this content make you feel?

XpatLoop Media Partner

Hungary Matters

Launched in January 2014, this twice-daily newsletter covers 'everything you need to know about what’s going on in Hungary and beyond', according to its publisher the state media agency MTI. Click the title above for more info, and to subscribe.

Explore More Reports

  • Local Opinion: Fidesz To Ban Living In Public Space

    Local Opinion: Fidesz To Ban Living In Public Space

    • 15 Jun 2018 9:55 AM

    As Fidesz MPs ask the government to introduce a constitutional ban on sleeping rough regularly and living on the streets in general, a left-wing Christian pundit finds the proposal inhumane, while a pro-government columnist welcomes it.

  • Hungarian Secret Agent Reveals Seriousness Of Russian Threat

    Hungarian Secret Agent Reveals Seriousness Of Russian Threat

    • 21 Mar 2017 10:00 AM

    By Szabolcs Panyi: Secret agents, counter-intelligence officers do not give interviews to the media very often and it is even more unique when they do so under their real name and with their own face. Ferenc Katrein worked for the Hungarian civilian counter-intelligence agency for 13 years, including a stint as an executive head of operations, and dealt with sensitive cases such as the Roma murders of 2008-2009 or defence against Russian secret services.

  • Govt To Launch Online Consultation In Wake Of Italy Bus Crash

    Govt To Launch Online Consultation In Wake Of Italy Bus Crash

    • 16 Feb 2017 8:00 AM

    The government will launch an online consultation on regulatory issues in the aftermath of a bus crash in Italy in which 16 Hungarians died last month, government spokesman Zoltán Kovács said. Eleven students and five adults died and several others were injured in the bus accident that occurred on Jan. 20 just before midnight.

  • 4,000 Hungarians Sleeping Rough, Survey Shows

    4,000 Hungarians Sleeping Rough, Survey Shows

    • 5 Dec 2016 5:22 AM

    There are as many as 15,000 homeless people in Hungary. Of these, some 4,000 are sleeping rough, according to a survey conducted by Hungarian NGO Menhely Alapitvány (Shelter Foundation), reports. Roughly one-third of them are in Budapest.