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Media under spotlight at human rights conference in Budapest

Budapest, 10.2.2010 23:24, (Politics.hu)

The segregation of Hungary's Roma community and the role of the media in sustaining prejudices against them were in the focus of a Budapest human rights conference on Thursday.

The conference had the aim to assess progress in human rights in Hungary between 2002 and 2010.

The media in Hungary, particularly commercial TV shows, play a big role in sustaining prejudices against minorities, for instance the Roma, speakers agreed at the event organised by Republikon Institute.

Balazs Denes, president of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU), said that in afternoon TV chat shows -- some of which deal with serious crime or end up in fights -- participants identified as Roma are overrepresented.

Speaking about Roma integration Jeno Setet of the Roma Civil Rights Foundation said was it was important that the state should stop pursuing its policy of giving billions to segregating schools or to schemes that exclude Roma from employment. A breakthrough would only come if the state stopped subsidising these institutions, he said.

Andras Ujlaky of the Chance for Children Foundation noted that they had won all lawsuits they had initiated against segregation in local schools. He criticised the Education Ministry for failing to enforce the law and sanction segregation in schools.

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