Now you can find out if your representative is on your side

The aim of the Make your voice heard! project of the HCLU is to facilitate advocacy skills of Roma communities. Therefore the HCLU trains Romani activists in freedom of information and in participatory rights. This obtained knowledge would help them gain insight into local decision-making processes. By having access to data of public interest and exercising participatory rights, their situation can be improved so they can reach the social level of the less underprivileged majority.

For English subtitles: start the video and click on the "cc" button!

The local government representative meetings are open to the public. This means that anyone can sit in on the meetings and listen to their entirety. For anyone to be there, they do not need to give any explanation, it is enough to be interested in what their representatives are doing. The right to be present is not the same as the right to participate. If one speaks to the notary or the mayor before the meeting, and asks to say something, there is an opportunity to do so. Very rarely there can be closed meetings, but the representatives have few chances for this (personal decisions). Generally, a sound recording and written record is also made; a copy can be requested of either.
The Make your voice heard! activists frequent the local government representative meetings, public hearings, and town meetings. On these occasions, they can familiarize themselves with the questions and arguments that affect them, the factors involved in decision-making, and they even have the opportunity to express their own opinions or those of their communities. The HCLU helps these activists participate in the decision-making process, even in the events leading up to or following it. Those taking part in this project are familiar with the area, and in part due to their training, they can effectively speak up in the interest of their communities when they experience discrimination in the distribution of funds and resources.


Kapcsolódó hírek

“He even kicked the bike”

We have presented similar stories on our blog many times. So it was not a one-time occurence, that’s for sure. At least not in Heves or Borsod county. What we’re talking about here, is that some policemen take pleasure in fining very poor people, who are mostly Romas, for breaking bicycle rules, all the time. Who they fine and how much they fine them for depends on the policeman’s discrimination and mood, rather than the bicycle laws. The man in this video lives in Eger.

'A poor man is pulled even by the branch of a tree'

I wonder how many cyclists are stopped in a wealthy neighborhood of a bigger city each year due to worn out tires, missing winter tires, missing reflector, or because of a disconnected brake cable? All of us who use such vehicles commit similar petty offenses. The lives of Borsod county’s (Hungary) Roma people – who live in poverty - are embittered by the police. They periodically give unnecessarily harsh fines of 10,20,30 thousand HUF (approximately 40,80,120 €).

The HCLU's movies shared a Special Award at the Hégető Honorka Prize ceremony

The aim of the Prize is to acknowledge television and online video works aimed at highlighting the problems of marginalised groups, and raising public and media awareness. It is a big honour for us to be awarded this prize in 2013.