In Hungary, it’s against the law to be homeless. But poverty is rampant and many people are evicted from their homes. This brands them as criminals and their children are taken away from them. Hungary is a democratic country, but what value has a democracy when it does not treat all subjects equally?
Democracy in Hungary is failing: poor people are being criminalized because it is illegal to be homeless. People who do not have a home are not allowed to take care of their children, which has resulted in over 23,000 children being separated from their parents. The Hungarian government does not invest in social services, leading to steadily growing inequality. Meanwhile, 120,000 state-subsidized apartments are vacant, while close to 30,000 people are living on the streets.
A group of civilians is sick and tired of the inhumane policies of president Orbán and starts to take an active stance against it. They start the organization The City is for All in Budapest, Hungary’s capital city, and try to prevent evictions. They also organize demonstrations, lobby the local authorities, and help eviction victims by providing legal aid. Together, they form a community based on solidarity and human dignity in a country which is inexorably sliding towards the other end of the spectrum.
No Country for the Poor is part of the Festival Favorites theme programme.