4.5 Initiatives promoting social inclusion and raising awareness
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Reviewing the contents of textbooks and curricula treating the Roma/Gipsy ethnic group
In 2015, upon the request of the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development, the researchers of the Department of Roma Studies and Educational Sociology functioning at the University of Pécs had studied the current situation of how much Roma culture is represented in the textbooks and curricula.
The concrete tasks defined during the research and analysis were discussed between the staff of the Department and the Institute working group for textbook development on 26 November 2015 in Pécs. At the meeting, the most important results of the analyses were recorded and then a timetable for the implementation of the tasks was drawn up.
According to the timetable, the system of requirements for Roman/gipsy representation has become enforceable in 40 textbooks in 2016/2017 academic year, and another 60 textbooks was planned to be revised for academic year 2017/2018 based on the terms of reference. The remaining teaching materials were expected to be revised according to the timetable starting from academic year 2018/2019.
The revision of the teaching materials concerned various subjects including Hungarian language and literature, history, ethics, environment and nature study, geography, visual culture, singing and music. [2017 Follow up report on National Social Inclusion Strategy (MNTFS 2017 nyomonkövetési jelentés)]
In 2018 and 2019, textbook development was carried out by the Institute for Educational Research and Development. It is important that disadvantaged groups and nationalities appear in the textbooks. [2020 Follow up report on National Social Inclusion Strategy (MNTFS 2020 nyomonkövetési jelentés)]
Special Colleges for Roma
The Christian Roma College Network [Keresztény Roma Szakkollégium (referred hereinafter to as CRCN)] was established by Christian Churches of Hungary in 2011 for the purpose of
- strengthening Roma intellectuals, and
- helping Roma students to get university or college degrees.
The students of the Roma Special Colleges receive performance-dependent scholarships. The scholarship provided for the members of the special colleges is subject to measurable professional-research performance. Students shall meet stringent criteria for becoming eligible for the maximum amount, and they shall also take part in
- voluntary and
- research programmes.
- mentoring and
- tutorial assistance, as well as
- assistance by the heads of the special colleges.
In addition, they also have the opportunity for
- learning languages,
- travelling abroad,
- participating in professional conferences and community-building camps.
The aim of the project was to support complex talent fostering programmes within the framework of the special colleges for the Roma, which contribute to training Roma intellectuals who are devoted to undertaking tasks in public life and are involved in active social dialogue, merging professional excellence with sensitivity to social issues.
In the 2018-2019 academic school year, 327 people started their studies at Roma special colleges. There are currently 11 specialised schools in Hungary and EUR 3.7 million (HUF 1.4 billion) is allocated for the programme from EFOP and VEKOP sources. According to the Ministry information, 90% of graduates from Roma special colleges have found jobs in the last 10 years.
Awareness-raising cultural events
According to the Ministry information from 2019, there was a yearly event, called 371 Stars - Courage and Roma Youth Day ('371 Csillag - Bátorság és a Roma Ifjúság Napja') in Hungary, supported by the Deputy State Secretariat for Social Inclusion. In the last five years it was held in the Hungarian National Theatre. 371 Stars in a commemoration of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Gipsy camp with theatrical performances, readings.
The Day for Roma Culture (Nemzetközi Roma Nap), held on 8 April, provides to opportunity to organize various Roma cultural events in each year, like the Roma Values Festival (Cigánykerék – Roma Értékek Fesztivál) between 2013-2019. Participants were from all age groups. The main goal was to familiarise them with the Roma culture and values. The main programme usually included performing traditional music, traditional dancing, presenting folk traditions and roundtable discussions.
The Department for Social Inclusion launched the Balázs János Award (Balázs János díj) in 2019 which is awarded on the Day for Roma Culture. It is a recognition to those who
- have made an outstanding contribution to help disadvantaged people and communities - especially Roma - achieve social inclusion, education and employment,
- help preserve Roma identity and culture and support social dialogue, and
- inspirate the future generation with these activities.
Preventing prostitution and human trafficking
In Hungary, several laws deal with prostitution, sexual exploitation of children or young people (under the age of 18); for example
- Act C of 2012 on Criminal Code,
- The Fundamental Law of Hungary,
- Act XXXI of 1997 on Child Protection (1997. évi XXXI. törvény a gyermekek védelméről és a gyámügyi igazgatásról),
- Law Against Sexual Exploitation (Lanzarote Convention),
- Act LXXV of 1999 on Organised Crime (1999. évi LXXV. törvény).
These laws prohibit the sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children and protect the territory and surroundings of schools, children hospitals and child protection institutions.
Hungary has initiatives aiming to prevent prostitution and trafficking in human beings. The related programmes do not reach a wide range of young people or experts. The target groups are:
- high-school and
- college students,
- children and youngsters raised in children's home,
- professionals in youth, social and school fields,
- consuls etc. (According to the information provided by the Ministry in 2018.)
Domestic violence and human trafficking
The EFOP-1.2.5 'Safe Heaven' (EFOP-3.3.1-15 Biztos Menedék) supported building and expanding the institutional system helping the victims of domestic violence and human trafficking in Hungary. Two parts, the
- crisis centres and
- half-way exit houses already exist, while
- crisis management ambulances need to be established later.
The programme had a budget of about EUR 5 million (HUF 1 640 million).
In 2018, new crisis centres, clandestine shelters and exit houses were commissioned. Crisis management clinics were established in 7 regions of the country. In addition, the victim support system was developed by the Hungarian Government.
In addition, social professionals (about 5 000 people) working in the child protection system were able to participate in further training. The aim of the project (EFOP-1.2.4-VEKOP-16 Kríziskezelő szolgáltatások fejlesztése) was to provide further knowledge and changing attitudes in the topic of child prostitution and child trafficking. The budget is about EUR 3.24 million (HUF 1.16 billion). [2020 Follow up report on National Social Inclusion Strategy (MNTFS 2020 nyomonkövetési jelentés)]
EFOP-1.2.1 'Safety net for families' (EFOP-1.2.1 Védőháló a családokért) is a complex programme, aiming to support experts providing training for individuals or groups to help families get stronger. Preventing domestic violence is part of its main goals.
There are no other programmes on this topic that offered to a wide range of young people and funded by the Hungarian state. The reasons for this may be that the priorities of the government focus on other areas such as solutions to demographical challenges in Hungary related to population decline or the cross-sectorial approach to youth policy.
There are no directives in place related to the topic.