Photo: MTI

Demonstration held for child protection in Budapest

A group of organisations held a demonstration to support the protection of children in central Budapest on Wednesday evening.

Organised by the Orszagos Kozos Akarat (National Common Will) civil group, the participants gathered at St Gellert Square and marched across Szabadsag Bridge to Kossuth Square in front of the Parliament.

Speaking at the event, Sandor Meleg, the head of the Association of Hungarian Social Workers, said the government’s recently announced measures related to child protection including an amendment to the basic law and vetting the leaders of social institutions would not solve the problems prevalent in the institutional network.

He called the recent measures announced in response to the Bicske children’s home affair “improvised pseudo steps” which would not be sufficient “to prevent further abuses”.

Meleg urged decision-makers to prevent, rather than sanction retroactively, cases of abuse and transform the institutional network so that any such cases could be prevented.

Lola Giay, board member of Egyseges Diakfront (United Student Front) said that “the sexual abuse of children that had gone on for years in the Bicske children’s home has ruined the life of children” and “all this could happen because those in power had failed to act despite warnings”.

“A couple of resignations and a law amendment is good for a start, but not enough,” she said, announcing the setting up a child protection round-table together with Kozos Akarat.

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