Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: April 7th, 2012
It’s against the law to be homeless in Hungary

What that means, according to NPR, is that someone sleeping on the streets can be arrested, taken to jail and even charged a steep fine.

The mix of federal and local laws constitute the  toughest vagrancy laws in Europe.

While activists believe the measures to make homelessness illegal are extreme, proponents believe that it will help rid the streets of those who are too poor to to live elsewhere, forcing them into shelters.

Hungary’s anti-vagrancy laws, which affect some 30,000 people, have also drawn ire from other countries in the European Union, where it needs allies not enemies, since it’s in pursuit of a hefty $26.5 billion dollar loan from the IMF.

The measures, however, don’t come as a surprise since police have been increasingly tough on the homeless over the years, often roughing them up and intimidating them under the directive of the local governments.

State or city officials didn’t respond to NPR’s request for interviews.

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Comments

One comment on “It’s against the law to be homeless in Hungary

  1. Matthew Melao on said:

    I did not know this about Hungary, although i have been to Budapest a few times and saw very few “vagrants” on the streets. This is sad to see. And i’m wondering, so where do they go? Romania? What do they do with their homeless? What kinds of programs do they have to help them?

    You can find me at http://www.ihaveavoicetoo.com also discussing issues of homeless.

    Matthew

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