Experts urge Hungary to retract law criminalizing homelessnessListen /
Two United Nations independent experts on Wednesday urged the Hungarian Government to retract a recently passed amendment that criminalizes homelessness.
On Monday, the Hungarian Parliament passed an amendment that authorizes national and municipal legislation to outlaw sleeping in public spaces.
The experts, Raquel Rolnik and Magdalena Sepúlveda, stressed the amendment will result in discrimination against those without shelter.
"Such legislation will not only impede the enjoyment of human rights of homeless persons, but will also promote prejudice towards people living in poverty and homeless persons for generations to come," said Magdalena Sepúlveda, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.
According to the Hungarian Government, there are currently not enough shelters in the capital to service the existing homeless community.
The UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, warned that outlawing sleeping in public spaces when there are limited housing solutions for homeless people and low-income households is contrary to Hungary's international human rights obligations of equality and non-discrimination.
The two experts also expressed concern about the amendment process being rushed, leaving no time for public consultation.
Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes.
Gerry Adams, United Nations