In solidarity with Civil Society in Hungary

On 13 February 2018, the Hungarian government tabled to Parliament a proposed legislative pack of three laws, commonly referred to as “Stop Soros”. The newly proposed legislation would further restrict Hungarian civil society ability to carry out their work, by requiring organizations that “support migration” to obtain national security clearance and a government permit to perform basic functions. The proposed law would also require organizations to pay a tax of 25% of any foreign funding aimed at “supporting migration”.

Failure to do so, would subject them to steps so serious that they could lead to exorbitant fines, bankruptcy, and the dissolving of the NGO involved.

These come in a context of already shrinking space for civil society in Hungary and contravene Hungary’s obligations under international law to protect the right to freedom of association, expression and movement.

We believe the new proposals represent the latest initiative in the Hungarian government's escalating effort to crackdown on the legitimate work of civil society groups in Hungary seeking to promote and defend human rights, provide legal and social services to people in need in the country, and publicly express dissenting opinions in the press and online.

As defenders of rights and freedoms, we want people everywhere to be able to speak out without being attacked, threatened or jailed. Open debate on matters relating to government policies and practice is necessary in every society, and human rights defenders should not face criminalization for voicing their sometimes dissenting voices. Countries need to put laws in place which keep human rights defenders safe from harm, rather than introducing repressive laws that aim to silence those who speak out.

Human rights defenders defend the rights of people in their own communities and their countries, and in doing so they protect all of our rights, globally. Human rights defenders are often the last line of defence for a free and just society and undertake immense personal risks and sacrifices to do their work.

We stand in solidarity with civil society and human rights defenders in Hungary.

They are courageous people, committed to creating a fairer society. Without their courage, the world we live in would be less fair, less just and less equal.

We are calling on the Hungarian Parliament to reject the proposed laws in their entirety and let the NGOs and defenders continue their work, instead of defending themselves against such attacks.

The below listed organizations declare their support and solidarity with non-governmental organizations and human rights defenders in Hungary:

  • ILGA – Europe

  • Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties)

  • Human Rights Watch

  • AEDH - Association Europeenne de Droits de l'Homme

  • FIDH, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

  • World Organisation against Torture, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

  • Light for the World

  • Funders’ Initiative for Civil Society

  • Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights

  • CONCORD - European Confederation of Relief and development NGOs

  • Human Rights First

  • Transgender Europe

  • Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe

  • International Civil Society Centre

  • Reporters sans Frontières

  • ENAR - European Network Against Racism

  • European Volunteer Centre

  • Civil Society Europe

  • Protection International - Belgium

  • çavaria vzw - Belgium

  • 11.11.11. - Belgium

  • Artsen zonder Vakantie – Belgium

  • Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen - Belgium

  • Liga voor mensenrechten – Belgium

  • WWF Belgium - Belgium

  • ACAT - Belgique/ Belgie/ Belgium

  • Volonteurope Belgium - Belgium

  • CROSOL - Croatian Platform for International Citizen Solidarity - Croatia

  • Centre for Peace Studies from Zagreb – Croatia

  • GONG – Croatia

  • Brod Ecological Society-BED - Croatia

  • Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past – Croatia

  • CESI-Center for Education, Counselling and Research – Croatia

  • Human Rights House Zagreb – Croatia

  • Rehabilitation center for stress and trauma – Croatia

  • Adra Česká republika – Czech Republic

  • Open Society Fund/ Nadace OSF Praha – Czech Republic

  • Transparency International ČR– Czech Republic

  • Člověk v tísni – People in Need – Czech Republic

  • Forum 2000 - The Forum 2000 Foundation - Czech Republic

  • META – Společnost pro příležitosti mladých migrantů - Association for opportunities of young migrants - Czech Republic

  • Most pro o.p.s. - poradna pro cizince – Czech Republic

  • SIMI – Sdružení pro integraci a migraci – Association for integration and migration- Czech Republic

  • Glopolis – Glopolis - Czech Republic

  • Centrum pro integraci cizinců - Centre for Integration of Foreigners - Czech Republic

  • Diakonie (Českobratrské církve evangelické) – Diaconia (Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren) - Czech Republic

  • Most - Czech Republic

  • Konsorcium nevládních organizací pracujících s migranty – Consortium of Migrants Assisting Organizations - Czech Republic

  • DEMAS – Association for Democracy Assistance and Human Rights - Asociace pro podporu demokracie a lidských práv - Czech Republic

  • Pavel Havlicek, Analyst at the Research Centre, Association for International Affairs Prague, Czech Republic

  • Organizace pro pomoc uprchlíkům – Organization for aid to refugees

  • Denmark Nyt Europa – Denmark

  • Kehitysmaayhdistys Pääskyt ry - Finland

  • Suomen Pakolaisapu | Finnish Refugee Council - Finland

  • ETMU ry (Society for the Study of Ethnic Relations and International Migration) - Finland

  • Suomen Nuorisoyhteistyö – Allianssi ry - Finland

  • Suomen Setlementtiliitto - Finland

  • Ensi- ja turvakotien liitto - Finland

  • Suomen Mielenterveysseura ry - Finland

  • Ihmisoikeusliitto ry - Finnish League for Human Rights - Finland

  • Kehitysyhteistyöjärjestöjen EU-yhdistys Kehys ry - The Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU Kehys - Finland

  • Vammaisten perus- ja ihmisoikeusjärjestö Kynnys ry - Finland

  • Suomen somalialaisten liitto - Finland

  • Seta LGBTIQ Rights in Finland - Finland

  • Trasek ry - Finland

  • LSVD – Germany

  • HES – Germany

  • ADRA Deutschland e.V - Germany

  • BAfF e.V.-Bundesweite Arbeitsgemeinschaft Psychosozialer Zentren für Flüchtlinge und Folteropfer - Germany

  • Forum Menschenrechte - Germany

  • VENRO - Verband Entwicklungspolitik und humanitäre Hilfe deutscher Nichtregierungsorganisationen e.V. - Germany

  • Solidaritätsdienst International e.V. (SODI) - Germany

  • Adivasi-Koordination in Deutschland e.V. - Germany

  • ACAT-Deutschland e.V. - Germany

  • Missionsärztliches Institut Würzburg - Germany

  • Deutsches Medikamenten-Hilfswerk action medeor e.V. - Germany

  • Deutsche Kommission Justitia et Pax - Germany