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Hungary outlaws homelessness

February 11th 2012


A new regulation passed in Hungary makes homelessness punishable by a fine of nearly £400, or a spell in prison.

Some 10,000 people are thought to be homeless in the country’s capital, Budapest.

The regulation was proposed by Hungary’s leading conservative party, on the grounds that Budapest could no longer cope with the large numbers of people sleeping rough.

The new law, passed by a strong majority in parliament in December 2011, means that those found sleeping on the streets will first receive a warning, before facing imprisonment or a fine. The move has provoked widespread criticism. Critics, who include Hungary’s human rights ombudsman and charities for the homeless, argue that Budapest’s hostels cannot cope with the number of rough sleepers in the city.

Miklos Vecsei, a spokesman from the Hungarian Maltese Charity Services, said that the law is not based on professional research, but has been passed because the public are fed up with the homeless. Budapest has been stretched to its limits, but the city’s poverty needs to be alleviated, not punished, Vecsei said.

The MP who drafted the law has pointed to new hostel projects and argues that local councils will take responsibility for tackling homelessness.

However, Hungarian charities claim that, even with these council schemes in place, up to 3,000 rough sleepers will be left without shelter.

The controversial new law has sparked a wave of demonstrations, including a series of sit-in protests.


February 2012



Birmingham man charged with homeless murder

Coventry City Council rubber-stamps cuts disguised as freezes

Birmingham winter shelter pilot

Homelessness on the rise in Nottingham

Christmas shelter welcomes homeless

Sleeping out for St Basil’s

Budget cuts threaten Scots homeless charity

‘Commonwealth grandmother’ still homeless

Pets need homes too, urges charity

Land of the free, homes for the brave

Government urged to make homelessness act a reality

New movie honours Scot who served homeless veterans

Behind a name

A Few Man Fridays

Hull in a handcart

Rough sleepers predicted to live longer - 47 is the new 42

Former US Marine arrested for homeless stabbing

Homeless people offered Spanish getaway

Funding boost for hostels

Bones in Bath wood

The target year - an end to rough sleeping in 2012

Hungary outlaws homelessness

Hungary outlaws homelessness

Nottingham hotline

Man dies on Ilford street

Stay safe!

Bin safety


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