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There is no Hungarian strategy directly for the social integration of young people, however, several official documents are related to the inclusion of youth.
The two main such strategies are:
- National Youth Strategy 2009-2024 (2009) [Nemzeti Ifjúsági Stratégia 2009-2024 (2009)]
- National Social Inclusion Strategy 2011-2020 (2014) [Magyar Nemzeti Felzárkóztatási Stratégia 2011-2020 (2014)]
In addition to these two documents, a law, a Parliament and a Government decree, as well as three strategy documents are linked to the topic of inclusion for youth:
- Act CXXV of 2003 on equal treatment and the promotion of equal opportunities (2003) [2003. évi CXXV. törvény az egyenlő bánásmódról és az esélyegyenlőség előremozdításáról (2003)]
- Parliament Decree 47/2007 dated 31 May 2007 on 'Be Better for Children!' National Strategy 2007-2032 (2007) [47/2007. (V. 31.) OGY határozat a 'Legyen jobb a gyermekeknek!' Nemzeti Stratégiáról, 2007-2032 (2007)]
- Government Decree 1744/2013 dated 17 October 2013 on National Crime Prevention Strategy 2013-2023 (2013) [1744/2013. (X. 17.) Korm. határozat a Nemzeti Bűnmegelőzési Stratégiáról 2013-2023 (2013)]
- Strategy on improvement of public education 2014-2020 (2014) [Köznevelés-fejlesztési stratégia 2014-2020 (2014)]
- Mid-term strategy to prevent school drop-out without certificate 2014-2020 (2014) [A végzettség nélküli iskolaelhagyás elleni középtávú stratégia 2014-2020 (2014)]
- The framework strategy for the lifelong learning policy 2014-2020 (2014) [Az egész életen át tartó tanulás szakpolitikájának keretstratégiája 2014-2020 (2014)]
Finally, the following document is also relevant to mention when it comes to the social inclusion of youngsters:
- For the Future of the New Generation – Youth Policy Framework Programme of the Hungarian Government (2012) [Új Nemzedék Jövőjéért – A Kormány ifjúságpolitikai keretprogramja (2012)]
National Youth Strategy (NYS)
The National Youth Strategy (referred hereinafter to as NYS) is discussed in more detail in chapter 1 (1.3. National Youth Strategy). Areas of NYS that connect to social integration are related to the main principles of solidarity and responsibility. The goals of NYS are horizontal; its primary aim is the provision of equal opportunities through prevention of social exclusion and marginalisation of youth. (NYS, 2009 p. 7.; Youth Policy Review, 2016 p. 61)
National Social Inclusion Strategy (NSIS)
The National Social Inclusion Strategy (referred hereinafter to as NSIS) deals with three main areas of inequality in Hungary:
- child poverty,
- Roma issues,
- the inclusion of disadvantaged regions. (Youth Policy Review, 2016 p. 73)
The most important step of the strategy against child poverty has been the establishment of Sure Start Children Centres, the aims of which are
- the development of parenting competences and
- complex improvement measures for disadvantaged children in their early childhood.
Besides, the integration of Roma people, especially of youngsters, and issues related to public education also have important roles in the strategy. (Youth Policy Review, 2016 p. 73; NSIS p. 138-142) The strategy does not refer directly to youngsters, but it is closely and holistically linked to youth issues. Similarly, the action plans and concrete actions connected to NSIS include several programmes that deal with young people. [NSIS, 2014 Monitoring Report (Nyomonkövetési jelentés) 2013, 2015]
Act CXXV of 2003 on equal treatment and the promotion of equal opportunities
The Act CXXV of 2003 on equal treatment and the promotion of equal opportunities defines the specific groups that are at risk of suffering from discrimination and also determines the possible sanctions for the different forms of discrimination. The state regards the provision of equal opportunities as its own task through laying its foundations by proper legislative background and implementing inclusive policies that give everyone equal opportunities for growth. (NSIS, 2014 p. 13)
Parliament Decree 47/2007 dated 31 May 2007 on 'Be Better for Children!' National Strategy 2007-2032
Parliament Decree 47/2007 dated 31 May 2007 on 'Be Better for Children!' National Strategy 2007-2032 includes a 25-year plan for the improvement of the situation of children. Creation of opportunities for children is an important priority of the document. These aims primarily mean
- reduction of poverty,
- social integration and
- elimination or reduction of reproductive poverty. (NSIS, 2014 p. 13)
National Crime Prevention Strategy
The main aims of the National Crime Prevention Strategy are the prevention of juvenile delinquency, improvement of public safety, prevention of victimisation, assistance to victims and prevention from recidivism. Youth is not regarded as its main target group.
Strategy on the improvement of public education 2014-2020
The main objectives of the Hungarian state in terms of the improvement of public education provision are to:
- increase public intervention to ensure the high quality of public education in general,
- balance efforts and resources invested in 'education' versus 'teaching' with increased support to the former,
- focus on 'pupils/students' physical and psychological progress,
- increase the prestige of teachers and provide career opportunities. (Hugyecz, 2015)
Mid-term strategy preventing school drop-out without certificate 2014-2020
One of the five targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy is reducing the rate of early school leavers aged 18-24 to below 10%. The mid-term strategy to prevent early school drop-out without certificate was created to bring about positive change in Hungary. The strategy is designed to improve the situation on systemic, institutional and personal levels in parallel. Aims are to improve the quality of education and training system and promote access to inclusive, quality mainstream education for all. Measures involved in the ESL Strategy serve:
- preventing and tackling early-school leaving,
- improving students’ skills and competences,
- improving the rate of school success fostering smooth labour market transition and employability.
The framework strategy for the lifelong learning policy 2014-2020
One of the horizontal targets of the strategy is to widen the participation in lifelong learning and improve the access to it that has a specific target group of early school leavers, drop-outs and young people who are not in education, employment, or training (NEETs). (For more information about the framework strategy for the lifelong learning policy 2014-2020 see sub-chapter 8.3 National strategy on creativity and culture for young people & 8.9 Enhancing social inclusion through culture.)
For the Future of the New Generation
See more details about 'For the Future of the New Generation' framework programme in chapter 1 (1.3. National Youth Strategy). The document deals with youth integration, especially through the following aims:
- reduction of regional inequalities,
- provision of equal opportunities and possibilities,
- increase in employment chances,
- ensuring access to culture and free-time activities,
- support for starting a family. (For the Future of the New Generation, 2012)
Primarily, the field of youth policy in Hungary belonged to the Minister of State for Family, Youth and International Affairs (2017), but social inclusion and integration issues belonged to the Minister of State for Social Affairs and Social Inclusion (2017) - both under the same ministry: the Ministry of Human Capacities.
From 2020, the Minister without Portfolio Responsible for Families (Családokért felelős tárca nélküli miniszter) is responsible for youth policies, also within the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma) and the Deputy State Secretariat for Social Inclusion belongs to the Ministry of Interior (Belügyminisztérium). More information on the Secretariat for Social Affairs is to be found in sub-chapter 4.2 Administration and Governance.
With the intention to measure the effects of the implementation and realisation of the goals set out in the National Social Inclusion Strategy (referred hereinafter to as NSIS) and of the tasks described in the action plan, the Hungarian Government has created administrative frameworks to make reports on the situation and on the measurable changes. The reporting process is based on a structure that has been created by the monitoring workgroup of the Ministerial Committee for Social Inclusion and Roma Affairs in 2013. As part of the monitoring process, an indicator system was created to measure social trends that are relevant to the inclusion policy. The indicator system for the reporting was designed in cooperation with TÁRKI Social Research Institute. (2016 Follow up report on National Social Inclusion Strategy, p. 10) The indexes and data of the indicator system were reviewed and updated with the cooperation of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO) in 2016.
Before 2010, the main information sources for the monitoring of NSIS were ad hoc research results for governmental provisions and strategies. Since 2013 the annual follow up reports are published, and the indicator system is available in the Social Sectoral Information System. Substantial part of the data is accessible by age groups.
A comprehensive overview of youth is available in the Hungarian youth research history. The large sample record repeated every 4 years examines the situation of young people between the age of 15 and 29 and the changes affecting their lives. The last research was due in 2016; the next is expected to take place in 2021. (NSIS lists a number of regular research which can be suitable for monitoring but the large sample youth research is not among them.) (NSIS, 2014 p. 138)
2020 Report on the provisions for the promotion of those living under the poverty line
The State Audit Office of Hungary - which is the supreme financial and economic audit institution of the National Assembly – has a report (jelentés) on the poverty in 2020. This is about helping those living below the poverty line. In 2010, one-third of the population of Hungary, about 3 million people, lived below the poverty line. Since 2010, governments have devoted significant resources to the reduction of poverty and social exclusion. In 2018, 18.9% of the total population, 1 813 000 people, were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. The decrease was significantly higher than the 2020 commitments.
2017 Follow up report on National Social Inclusion Strategy (regarding 2016)
The report shows,
- that the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion decreased by 1.9% point;
- the unemployment rate decreased, although its rate is higher among young children (15-24 years) than in other age groups.
2016 Follow up report on National Social Inclusion Strategy (regarding 2015)
The report shows,
- that the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion decreased thanks to the success of handling financial (housing expenditure, mortgage loans) problems;
- relevant decrease of the people living in households with very low work intensity and slightly increased in-work poverty due to the public work programme.
- decrease in the number of early school leavers.
Social processes in Hungary during the acceptance of the National Social Inclusion Strategy - 2009-2012 (2014)
Contracted by the Minister of State’s Office for Social Inclusion, TÁRKI monitored social developments from 2009 to 2012 related to NSIS so that the impacts of the strategy could be compared in the future. The institute used data from the Household Monitor and a so-called monitoring database. The analyses were made in 2014 for which the indicators were defined in 2012. According to plans, the indicators defined will be kept for the monitoring of the implementation of NSIS.
The first version of NSIS, which was approved in 2011, was revised in 2014. The main reason for this, besides the structural change of the field and a need for more transparent classification of the topic, was to complete the human rights-based approach with comprehensive, practical potential solutions and realistic plans that create opportunities.