• A discriminatory constitution and a raft of laws adopted by the ruling Fidesz party undermine the judiciary, media, and other checks and balances on the government. After its law criminalizing homelessness was ruled unconstitutional, the government inserted similar provisions into the constitution itself. Hungary sends migrants and some asylum seekers who reach its borders via Ukraine back to that country despite evidence of ill-treatment there. Roma face harassment and threats from vigilante groups who march through Romani settlements.

  • European Union flags fly in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. © Reuters 2012
    Amid economic crisis and much contested austerity measures in many member states, discrimination, racism, and homophobia remained serious problems in European Union member states.  Roma, migrants, and asylum seekers are particularly marginalized. The Council of the European Union acknowledged for the first time that more is needed to ensure human rights violations within EU borders are adequately addressed, with an ongoing policy debate focused on improving responses to rule of law crises. Meanwhile, abusive practices around the EU continued without adequate action by EU institutions and member states.