Ministry launches investigation after MDAC report
The Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities has confirmed that it is suspending the director of Topház Speciális Otthon, opening a special investigation into alleged abuses uncovered by NGO MDAC in the institution, and will close the institution in the near future, according to a press statement sent to the Budapest Business Journal yesterday.
Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog.
“While MDAC welcomes these initial developments, they are not sufficient to rectify the situation in Topház. The situation is urgent and it is crucial that assistance is provided to the victims immediately. I have just sent a request to Minister of Human Capacities, Zoltán Balog, to meet with us today [Thursday] to discuss the way forward,” said Steven Allen, campaigns director, in reaction to the news.
MDAC says it expects the government to take four immediate actions. Firstly, it should guarantee access to all social care institutions in Hungary to unfettered monitoring by national and international civil society. Secondly, it should guarantee emergency assistance to the victims of Topház. Thirdly, it should ensure reparations and independent legal representation of the victims. Lastly, it should publish, for all social care institutions in the country, full financial accounts for the last 10 years, including how much EU money has been spent.
“We look forward to a constructive dialogue between civil society and the Government of Hungary,” MDAC said, promising to issue a statement after its meeting with the minister.
International NGO the Mental Disability Advocacy Center (MDAC) called for the immediate closure of the state-run Topház Speciális Otthon institution for people with disabilities after its investigations allegedly discovered children and adults who had been tortured and abused there.
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