Report on the activity of the Equal Treatment Authority in 2012

A total of 2,738 petitions were filed with the Equal Treatment Authority* (Egyenlô Bánásmód Hatóság; hereinafter referred to as the Authority or EBH, pursuant to the Hungarian abbreviation) in 2012. This included instances of grievances in which, even though the petitioner's case did not fall within the Authority's scope of competence, the EBH was able to help by referring petitioners to other competent authorities and/or to provide pertinent legal information.
Last year's statistics reveal that Budapest and Pest county continue to be the sources of the most petitions, while Tolna, Vas and Veszprém counties still give rise to negligible numbers of petitions.
In the cases that gave rise to proceedings initiated by the authority, the most frequently invoked protected characteristics that petitioners cited as the bases for the discrimination they had suffered were belonging to a national minority (81 cases), disability (75 cases), age (54 cases), motherhood (pregnancy) or father hood (53 cases) and health conditions (43 cases).
In terms of the individual areas of discrimination in which most rights infringements occurred, employment and labour-market (15 decisions affirming the petition) and the distribution of goods and consumption of services (9 decisions affirming the petition) are the two areas that saw the most rights infringements. In the area of employment, employees were discriminated against primarily on account of motherhood, age, disability or health conditions, while in the context of access to services belonging to a national minority or disability were the causes of discriminative actions by service providers.
Settlements were reached in 28 cases in 2012, while in 31 cases the Authority made a determination that the subject of the procedure had violated the requirement of equal treatment. There was a significant decline in the number of unfounded complaints, with the result that decisions rejecting the complaint were submitted in 77 cases.
The Authority applied the sanctions established by Act CXXV of 2003 on promoting equal treatment and equal opportunity (hereinafter referred to as the Ebktv, following the Hungarian abbreviation) against those subjects of procedures who were deemed to have violated the requirement of equal treatment: in most cases the sanctions applied were the order to desist from future conduct contravening the requirement of equal treatment (27 cases) and the publication of the Authority's decision (20 cases). Furthermore, in four instances the Authority also obliged the person or company that was the subject of the procedure to cease the infringing conduct. Finally, we issued monetary fines in two cases.
In 2012, the Authority's case-workers held hearings in Budapest in 94 instances, while in 21 cases hearings were held in rural areas. Local inspections by case workers were performed in two cases.
Staff members of the Administrative and Legal Department were active in court hearings in 33 cases before the Metropolitan Court of Budapest (Fôvárosi Törvényszék, formerly known as Fôvárosi Bíróság) and the Curia (the Supreme Court of Hungary).