Disability Rights Programme

1,000 Euro Prize 2012

Country: Hungary

Region: Implemented nationwide

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Disability, Adult education

Project owner: Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) / Társaság a Szabadságjogokért (TASZ)

Responsible person: Tamas Verdes

Website: Weblink

What is it about?

About 100,000 people with (multiple) mental disabilities live in Hungary; most are cared for by their families, three-quarters of whom fall below the poverty line, while roughly 20,000 are housed in large homes. They and their families usually live apart from society. The Disability Rights Programme is fighting on many levels for the rights of these people. That means putting pressure on political decision-makers, public awareness campaigns, concrete proposals for reform of almost automatic guardianship, for the right to vote and for the right to education for children with mental disabilities. Increasingly, the affected are bolstered in their efforts to defend their rights themselves.

Appreciation of the Jury

People with (multiple) mental disabilities in Hungary are supposed to remain invisible, with the idea that they should be categorically not allowed to vote, should be afforded as little access to education and work as possible, and should behave quietly, hidden behind family or institutional walls. The Disability Rights Programme puts a spanner in the works. The struggle for the political and social rights of some 100,000 citizens is becoming wider and more intensive, and affected persons in particular are themselves becoming more active. We think this is an excellent endeavour and hope you will persevere.