Petition against the legalization of school segregation


Racial or ethnic discrimination is prohibited in Hungary under Hungarian law (based on equal treatment and the promotion of equal opportunities legislation), and the European Union's obligations (Racial Equality Directive). Over the past 10 years, court decisions ruled and numerous studies have supported that school segregation on the basis of ethnicity and socio-economic background to be illegal. Further it is proven that segregation has irreversible effects on children’s development, and their chances for the future.

The final judgment by the Court of Appeal of Debrecen, dated 6 November 2014, in the case of Nyíregyháza - Huszar settlement which reopened a segregated Roma school, ruled that it is forbidden to teach Roma pupils separately by reference to religious education. During the lawsuit Minister Zoltán Balog, who is also responsible for Education issues, repeatedly stated his position on his "affectionate support for segregation” and as a witness he stood by the segregators – the Greek Catholic Church.

On the day of the verdict, the ministry in its communication promised to search for possibilities, that in similar cases, waivers could be applied to permit segregation.

Two weeks after the Nyíregyháza - Huszar judgment , the ministry proposed an amendment of the Public Education Act under paragraph 27 (5) of Art.Z) that would authorize the government to determine in a decree, the waivers which could be applied to permit segregation in education.

If the proposed amendments would be voted and adopted without public consultation, the Government and the Minister will have the tools in their hands to legalize segregated remedial education.

It's not just that it is in conflict with the Basic Law and other legislation, but this move goes against the promises of the National Social Inclusion Strategy, and creates the possibility that masses of children will be fully and finally excluded from mainstream society and denied the possibility of a secure future. The legalization of segregated education violates the dignity of the whole of Hungarian society and makes it impossible for all of our children to live together as equal citizens in Hungary.


Therefore, the signatories of this petition object to the adoption of the amendment and call on parliamentary decision-makers representing them to vote against this proposal!

Chance for the Children Foundation

European Roma Rights Center

Romaversitas Foundation


More information is available here:

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