The HCLU is working in order to everbody can get to know their fundamental human rights in Hungary and can enforce it against the undue interference by those in position of public power. The HCLU monitors legislation, pursues strategic litigation, provides free legal aid assistance in more than 2000 cases per year, provides trainings and launches awareness raising media campaigns in order to mobilize the public. We are present at courts, ministries, national and international conferences, universities, in the capital and at the countryside. To truly preserve its independence, the HCLU does not apply for, and does not accept any funding from the Hungarian state, government or any of its institutions, nor from political parties. HCLU’s annual budget is 900.000 USD coming from private foundations, the European Union, embassies and individual donors.
About This Cause
The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) is working in order to everybody can get to know their fundamental human rights in Hungary and can enforce it against the undue interference by those in position of power. Our work is organised into three projects; the Equality, Privacy and Political Participatory Rights Projects. Our organizational strategic goals are: raising the citizens’ awareness of their rights, supporting active citizenship, protection of children’s rights and improving the human rights jurisprudence. We do not accept or solicit any money from the Hungarian state, its institutions and political parties. Our budget is exclusively covered by grants and donations by individuals. Our fundraising goal for 2018 is to have 1000 regular private donors who donate at least $12 in monthly basis.
The Equality Project of HCLU works against state-level discrimination of the most vulnerable groups within society, as well as to create equal opportunities for these groups. The Project focuses on the Roma people living in extreme poverty and on people living with disabilities. Furthermore, the Project also addresses the infringements of the rights of people living with HIV. By supporting our partner organisations we also adhere to the equal rights of other vulnerable groups, especially homeless people, refugees and members of the LMBTQI community.
The main objectives of HCLU’s Privacy Project are to ensure that state intervention into the private life of citizens is only to the extent that is absolutely necessary and to ensure that the state offers relevant services that are required for citizens to exercise their fundamental human rights (health care, public education or social services) at an adequate level. We pay special attention to the right to free choice related to decisions on healthcare (e.g. abortion); to the rights of patients, to the implementation of freedom of belief, to state-level drug policy and to the protection of personal data.
Political Freedoms Project
The main goal of HCLU’s Political Freedoms Project is that everybody can freely judge those in position of public power and the citizens who express a critical opinion about them, do not have to face any disadvantage. We pay special attention to the freedom of expression and the freedom of press, the right of assembly, the transparent operation of the state and the freedom of information assisting it, as well as the exercise of participatory rights, especially the right to vote.
In 2016, HCLU have defended the freedom of citizens in more cases than ever before. In two years, the number of citizens requesting our help through our legal aid service rose by a third. Compared to 2014, the number of cases we have represented has increased by 40%. In 2016, our 11 lawyers represented a total of 118 clients. Our colleagues responded to more than 2000 legal aid requests during the last year. Our clients include people disadvantaged due to their lack of available financial resources, people living with disabilities, journalists, demonstrators, parents unable to attend to their hospitalized children, and Roma people who have suffered discrimination. Almost every working day in 2016, we attended a police or court hearing.
How are we funded?
The mission of HCLU is to protect basic human rights from abuses of state power. We do not accept support from the Hungarian State or Hungarian political parties. The financial support necessary for the effective operation of HCLU is ensured by individuals, companies and private foundations who are supporting our work in the form of donations, free services and allocation of 1% of their tax payments. In order to preserve our independence, we do not accept or solicit funding from the Hungarian state or political parties. We adopted to which ethical regulations for the accepting and handling of individual donations apply. HCLU’s annual budget is around 900.000 USD in the last years. Although the largest part (appr. 80%) of our operational costs are provided by institutional financial support (such as Sigrid Rausing Trust, Open Society Foundations, Norwegian NGO Fund, Media Legal Defense Initiative ), we are determined to increase the proportion of private donations. Our fundraising goal for 2018 is to have 1000 regular private donors who donate at least $12 in monthly basis.