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Hungary

Hungary

4. Social Inclusion

4.3 Strategy for the social inclusion of young people

On this page
  1. Existence of a National Strategy on social inclusion
  2. Scope and contents
  3. Responsible authority
  4. Revisions/ Updates

Existence of a National Strategy on social inclusion

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:

  1. National Youth Strategy 2009-2024 (2009) [Nemzeti Ifjúsági Stratégia 2009-2024 (2009)]
  2. National Social Inclusion Strategy 2030 (Magyar Nemzeti Társadalmi Felzárkózási Stratégia 2030).

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:

Finally, the Catching-up Settlements programme (Felzárkózó települések program) is also relevant when it comes to the social inclusion of youngsters.

Scope and contents

National Youth Strategy

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.

National Social Inclusion Strategy

In 2021, the Hungarian Government adopted the new National Social Inclusion Strategy 2030 (Magyar Nemzeti Társadalmi Felzárkózási Stratégia 2030, referred hereinafter to as NSIS 2030) that builds on the experience of previous years. The main priorities and intervention directions of the previous strategy (in force between 2014 - 2020) are thus continued by the new strategy.

The NSIS 2030 includes seven main areas of intervention in Hungary:

  • birth and childhood,
  • education (from kindergarten to university),
  • youth affairs,
  • employment,
  • territorial inequalities, settlement development,
  • physical and mental health, health care, and
  • Roma identity, enforcement of rights.

The three main horizontal aims of the NSIS 2030:

  • equal acces to public services,
  • development of the situation of Roma women,
  • digitalisation.

The most important step of the strategy against child poverty has been the establishment of Sure Start Children Centres (Biztos Kezdet Gyerekház), the aims of which are

  • the development of parenting competences,
  • complex improvement measures for disadvantaged children in their early childhood,

Also, the Hungarian  Government is continuously increasing the number of nursery and kindergarten places to reduce the access inequality to childcare services.

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 NSIS 2030 emphasizes four main specific groups from the Act that have higher priority in the Strategy:

  • nationality,
  • social origin,
  • financial background,
  • settlement.

Parliament Decree 47/2007 on 'Be Better for Children!' National Strategy 2007-2032

Parliament Decree 47/2007 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.

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.

The Public Education Strategy made for the European Union 2021 - 2030

The main objectives of the Strategy are the development and support of underperforming and disadvantaged students in formal education. [For more information on the objectives of the Strategy, see sub-chapter 6.3 Preventing early leaving from education and training (ELET)]

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. [For more information on the Strategy, see sub-chapter 6.3 Preventing early leaving from education and training (ELET)]
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, see sub-chapter 6.9 Awareness-raising about non-formal and informal learning and quality youth work8.3 National strategy on creativity and culture for young people & 8.9 Enhancing social inclusion through culture.)

Catching-up Settlements programme

In 2019, the Hungarian government launched an independent programme, the Catching-up Settlements programme (Felzárkózó települések program), for the social inclusion of disadvantaged settlements and people living there. The aim of this comprehensive programme  is to reach the 300 most disadvantaged settlements, with a focus on children and youth.

Charities and NGOs are also involved in the implementation of the programme. The main coordinator is the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta (Magyar Máltai Szeretetszolgálat). In 2019, 31 settlements were included in the programme located in the most disadvantaged parts of the country. In 2020 and 2021, 87 new settlements were included in the programme.

A variety of measures is used depending on local conditions:

  • social assistance,
  • early childhood development and health care services,
  • education and training activities,
  • work socialisation and skills development,
  • housing interventions/measures, and
  • necessary infrastructural investments.

Responsible authority

Between 2014 and 2020, the field of youth policy in Hungary belonged to the Minister of State for Family, Youth (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 was responsible for youth policies and the Deputy State Secretariat for Social Inclusion, belongs to the Ministry of Interior (Belügyminisztérium). As of 2022, the Minister heading the Prime Minister's Office (Miniszterelnökséget vezető miniszter) took over the youth policy field. (For more information on the Secretariat for Social Inclusion, see sub-chapter 4.2 Administration and Governance.)

Evaluation of the implementation of the previous National Social Inclusion Strategy (2014-2020)

In 2020, the Kopint-Tárki Institute for Economic Research prepeared a report (Evaluation of the implementation of the Hungarian National Social Inclusion Strategy) to the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (Innovációs és Technológiai Minisztérium), that perceives the implementation of the previous NSIS (2014-2020).

 

According to this report, the quantified indicators of the strategy (income poverty, material deprivation and unemployment) have continuously improved; however, the relative situation of those living in deep poverty has not changed significantly. The evaluation made further suggestions for the next strategy.

The Report examined the provisions in 7 sectoral areas: 

  • child welfare and child protection services,
  • educational performance, school segregation,
  • employment, employability,
  • health care,
  • housing,
  • reducing regional disparities, and
  • cultural dialogue, awareness-raising, antidiscrimination
 
Former evaluation of the previous National Social Inclusion Strategy (2014-2020)

Before 2010, the main information sources for the monitoring of National Social Inclusion Strategies 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.

The follow-up reports (2016, 2017) on the previous National Social Inclusion Startegy highlight:

  • that the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion has decreased thanks to the successful management of financial problems (housing expenses, mortgage loans);
  • that the number of the people living in households with very low work intensity has decreased significantly due to the public work programme;
  • the number of early school leavers has decreased.
 
Youth Researches

A comprehensive overview of youth is available in the Hungarian youth research history. The large sample survey 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 in 2020 [Hungarian Youth 2020 (Magyar Fiatalok 2020)]

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.

Revisions/Updates

The first version of the previous National Social Inclusion Strategy (2014-2020) 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.

As the NSIS 2014 expired in 2020, a new Social Inclusion Strategy [National Social Inclusion Strategy 2030 (Magyar Nemzeti Társadalmi Felzárkózási Stratégia 2030)] has been developed. This continues the objectives of the previous strategy, builds on the social services and supports its operation.