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"We stand in solidarity with civil society in Hungary"

Joint letter by more than 250 NGOs expressing their "grave concern" over the shrinking space for civil society in Hungary

More than 250 organizations and platforms from all over the world have signed a letter expressing their grave concern over the shrinking space for civil society in Hungary. Read the letter here:

On 13 February 2018, the Hungarian government tabled to Parliament a proposed legislative pack of three laws, commonly referred to as “Stop Soros.”.

The newly proposed legislation would further restrict Hungarian civil society's ability to carry out their work, by requiring organizations that “support migration” to obtain national security clearance and a government permit to perform basic functions.

The proposed legislation would also require organizations to pay a tax of 25% of any foreign funding aimed at “supporting migration”. Failure to do so, would subject them to steps so serious that they could lead to exorbitant fines, bankruptcy, and the dissolving of the NGO involved.

People protest in Heroes’ square against a new law that would undermine Central European University, a liberal graduate school of social sciences founded by U.S. financier George Soros in Budapest, Hungary, April 12, 2017. © 2017 Reuters

These laws come in a context of already shrinking space for civil society in Hungary and contravene Hungary’s obligations under international law to protect the right to freedom of association, expression and movement.

We believe the new proposals represent the latest initiative in the Hungarian government's escalating effort to crackdown on the legitimate work of civil society groups in Hungary seeking to promote and defend human rights, provide legal and social services to people in need in the country, and publicly express dissenting opinions in the press and online.

As defenders of rights and freedoms, we want people everywhere to be able to speak out without being attacked, threatened or jailed. Open debate on matters relating to government policies and practice is necessary in every society, and human rights defenders should not face criminalization for voicing their sometimes dissenting voices.

Countries need to put laws in place which keep human rights defenders safe from harm, rather than introducing repressive laws that aim to silence those who speak out. 

Human rights defenders defend the rights of people in their own communities and their countries, and in doing so they protect all of our rights, globally. Human rights defenders are often the last line of defence for a free and just society and undertake immense personal risks and sacrifices to do their work.

We stand in solidarity with civil society and human rights defenders in Hungary.

They are courageous people, committed to creating a fairer society. Without their courage, the world we live in would be less fair, less just and less equal.

We are calling on the Hungarian Parliament to reject the proposed laws in their entirety and let the NGOs and defenders continue their work, instead of defending themselves against such attacks.

The below listed organizations declare their support and solidarity with non-governmental organisations and human rights defenders in Hungary (listed by country): 

International organizations

Amnesty International (joint letter online here)

ILGA – Europe

Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties) 

Human Rights Watch

AEDH - Association Europeenne de Droits de l'Homme 

FIDH, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

World Organisation against Torture, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Light for the World 

Funders’ Initiative for Civil Society

Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights

CONCORD - European Confederation of Relief and development NGOs

Human Rights First 

Transgender Europe

Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) 

Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe

International Civil Society Centre 

Reporters sans Frontières 

ENAR - European Network Against Racism 

European Volunteer Centre

The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)

Civil Society Europe

La Strada International



European Cultural Foundation 

European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL)

Le Réseau EUROMED DROITSUNITED for Intercultural Action - European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees

Organizations listed by country

CELS - Argentina

Protection International - Belgium

çavaria vzw - Belgium

11.11.11. - Belgium

Artsen zonder Vakantie – Belgium

Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen - Belgium 

Liga voor mensenrechten – Belgium

WWF Belgium - Belgium

ACAT - Belgique/ Belgie/ Belgium

Volonteurope Belgium - Belgium

CROSOL - Croatian Platform for International Citizen Solidarity - Croatia

Centre for Peace Studies from Zagreb – Croatia

GONG – Croatia

Brod Ecological Society - BED - Croatia

Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past – Croatia

CESI - Center for Education, Counselling and Research – Croatia

Human Rights House Zagreb – Croatia

Rehabilitation center for stress and trauma – Croatia

Civic Committee for Human Rights - Croatia

Adra Česká republika – Czech Republic

The Open Society Fund Prague – Czech Republic

The Civil Society Development Foundation (Nadace rozvoje občanské společnosti – NROS

Transparency International ČR– Czech Republic

Člověk v tísni – People in Need – Czech Republic 

Forum 2000 - The Forum 2000 Foundation - Czech Republic

META – Společnost pro příležitosti mladých migrantů - Association for opportunities of young migrants - Czech Republic

Most pro o.p.s. - poradna pro cizince – Czech Republic

SIMI – Sdružení pro integraci a migraci – Association for integration and migration- Czech Republic

Glopolis – Glopolis - Czech Republic

Centrum pro integraci cizinců - Centre for Integration of Foreigners - Czech Republic

Diakonie (Českobratrské církve evangelické) – Diaconia (Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren) - Czech Republic

Most - Czech Republic

Konsorcium nevládních organizací pracujících s migranty – Consortium of Migrants Assisting Organizations - Czech Republic

DEMAS – Association for Democracy Assistance and Human Rights - Asociace pro podporu demokracie a lidských práv - Czech Republic

Pavel Havlicek, Analyst at the Research Centre, Association for International Affairs Prague, Czech Republic

Organizace pro pomoc uprchlíkům – Organization for aid to refugees

The League of Human rights - Czech republic 

Občanské Bělorusko - Czech Republic

In Iustitia - Czech Republic

Institut pro evropskou politiku EUROPEUM - Czech Republic

Česká odborná společnost pro inkluzivní vzdělávání (ČOSIV) - Czech Republic

Česká společnost ornitologická - Czech Republic

Český helsinský výbor - Czech Republic

Agora Central Europe - Czech Republic

Asociace pro mezinárodní otázky – AMO - Czech Republic

Calla - Sdružení pro záchranu prostředí - Czech Republic

Denmark Nyt Europa – Denmark

Kehitysmaayhdistys Pääskyt ry - Finland 

Suomen Pakolaisapu | Finnish Refugee Council - Finland 

ETMU ry (Society for the Study of Ethnic Relations and International Migration) - Finland 

Suomen Nuorisoyhteistyö – Allianssi ry - Finland 

Suomen Setlementtiliitto - Finland 

Ensi- ja turvakotien liitto - Finland 

Suomen Mielenterveysseura ry - Finland 

Ihmisoikeusliitto ry - Finnish League for Human Rights - Finland 

Kehitysyhteistyöjärjestöjen EU-yhdistys Kehys ry - The Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU Kehys - Finland 

Vammaisten perus- ja ihmisoikeusjärjestö Kynnys ry - Finland

Suomen somalialaisten liitto - Finland 

Seta LGBTIQ Rights in Finland - Finland 

Trasek ry - Finland 

Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH)

Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken - Germany

Bundesfachverband Unbegleitete Minderjährige Flüchtlinge e.V. - Germany

Lesben- und Schwulenverband in Deutschland (LSVD) – Germany 

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung (HES) – Germany 

ADRA Deutschland e.V - Germany 

BAfF e.V.-Bundesweite Arbeitsgemeinschaft Psychosozialer Zentren für Flüchtlinge und Folteropfer - Germany

Forum Menschenrechte - Germany 

VENRO - Verband Entwicklungspolitik und humanitäre Hilfe deutscher Nichtregierungsorganisationen e.V. - Germany 

Solidaritätsdienst International e.V. (SODI) - Germany 

Adivasi-Koordination in Deutschland e.V. - Germany 

ACAT-Deutschland e.V. - Germany 

Missionsärztliches Institut Würzburg - Germany

Deutsches Medikamenten-Hilfswerk action medeor e.V. - Germany 

Deutsche Kommission Justitia et Pax - Germany 

Germanwatch e.V. - Germany

Welthaus Bielefeld e.V. – Germany

Civil Liberties Union for Europe e.V." – Germany

Weltveränderer e.V.- Germany

Human Rights Law Network - India

CILD - Italian Civil Liberties Advocacy Coalition – Italy

Dr Andrea Gullotta, Memorial Italia Italy

Antigone – Italy

LIDU - Lega Italiana dei diritti dell’Uomo - Italy 

Front Line Defenders – Ireland

Irish Nurses and Midwives organisation – Ireland

Christian Aid Ireland – Ireland

Transgender Equality Network Ireland – Ireland

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) - Ireland

Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation - Latvia 

Latvia's Association for Family Planning and Sexual Health – Latvia

ASTI (Association de Soutien aux Travailleurs Immigrés) - Luxembourg 

Passerell - Luxembourg 

ACAT Luxemburg - Luxembourg 

Reech eng Hand - Luxembourg 

Caritas Luxembourg - Luxembourg 

David Barkin - Profesor de Economía Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco,Mexico 

Aidsfonds – Netherlands

Amsterdamse Diakonie – Netherlands

Article 19 – Netherlands

ASKV - Steunpunt Vluchtelingen – Netherlands 

Blikopeners – Netherlands

Clara Wichmannfonds – Netherlands

Dance4Life – Netherlands

Dutch section of the International Commission of Jurists (NJCM) – Netherlands

Free Press Unlimited – Netherlands

Humanistisch Verbond – Netherlands

Humanity House – Netherlands

IMMO - instituut voor Mensenrechten en Medisch Onderzoek – Netherlands

INLIA - International Network of Local Initiatives with Asylumseekers – Netherlands

Justice and Peace Netherlands – Netherlands

KOMPASS – Netherlands

Libereco - Partnership for Human Rights – Netherlands

Milieudefensie – Netherlands

Movies that Matter – Netherlands

Netherlands Helsinki Committee – Netherlands

Foundation Max van der Stoel - Netherlands

NVJ - Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten – Netherlands

Partizan Publik – Netherlands

Pax – Netherlands

Power of Art House – Netherlands

Privacy First – Netherlands

Prospector – Netherlands

Stichting LOS - Landelijk Ongedocumenteerden Steunpunt – Netherlands

Stichting Vluchteling – Netherlands

Stichting voor Vluchteling-Studenten – UAF – Netherlands

The Amsterdam Gay Pride – Netherlands

The Hague Peace Projects – Netherlands

Transnational Institute (TNI) – Netherlands

VLot - fonds voor vluchtelingen – Netherlands

VluchtelingenWerk NL – Netherlands

Hivos - Netherlands

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee - Norway

Fundacja im. Stefana Batorego - Poland

Sieć Obywatelska Watchdog Polska - Poland

Projekt: Polska - Poland

Stowarzyszenie przeciw Antysemityzmowi i Ksenofobii Otwarta Rzeczpospolita - Poland 

Stowarzyszenie Interwencji Prawnej - Poland 

Instytut Spraw Publicznych - Poland

Fundacja ePaństwo - Poland

Panoptykon - Poland

Polskie Towarzystwo Prawa Antydyskryminacyjnego - Poland

Fundacja Pole Dialogu - Poland

Polski Instytut Praw Człowieka I Biznesu - Poland

Stowarzyszenie Willa Decjusza - Poland

Pracownia Badań i Innowacji Społecznych "Stocznia - Poland

Towarzystwo Edukacji Antydyskryminacyjnej - Poland

Fundacja Autonomia - Poland

Stowarzyszenie Klon/Jawor - Poland

Małopolskie Towarzystwo Oświatowe z Nowego Sącza - Poland

Fundacja Ari Ari - Poland

Ogólnopolska Federacja Organizacji Pozarządowych - Poland

Instytut Prawa i Społeczeństwa - Poland

Fundacja Partners Polska – Poland

Helsińska Fundacja Praw Człowieka - Poland

Grupy Zagranica – Poland

The Unit for Social Innovation & Research Shipyard - Poland

INPRIS - Institute for Law and Society - Poland

National Federation of Polish NGOs - Poland

Centre for International Relations (CIR) - Poland

Citizens Network Watchdog Poland - Poland

Institute of Public Affairs - Poland

Association against Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia Open Republic - Poland

Stefan Batory Foundation Poland

Danuta Przywara, President of the Board, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights Poland 

Inițiativa România - Romania

NGOs Federation for Children Romania - Romania

RISE Romania - Romania

Resource Center for Public Participation - CeRe (Romania) - Romania

FONSS (The Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations for Social Services) - Romania

Gabriela Tudor Foundation - Romania

Mediawise Society Association - Romania

The Civil Society Development Foundation - Romania

Expert Forum - Romania

Center for Independent Journalism - Romania

Federatia Organizatiilor Neguvernamentale pentru Copil - Romania

Asociatia One World Romania - Romania

Asociatia Militia Spirituala - Romania

ActiveWatch - Romania

CENTRAS - Romania

Asociatia Pro Democratia - Romania

Agenția Impreuna - Romania

Fundatia Estuar - Romania

Dizabnet – Federatia prestatorilor pentru persoane cu dizabilitati - Romania

The Swedish Organisation for Individual Relief - Romania

Alaturi de Voi Romania – Romania

Moscow Helsinki Group – Russia

Igor Vladimirovich Batov, Chairman of the Council of the Pskov Regional Environmental Rights Human Rights Movement ʺFree Coastʺ, a member of the Public Chamber of the Pskov region - Russia

Andrei Suslov, Center for Citizanship Education and Human Rights, Perm – Russia

Evdokimova Natalia Leonidovna, Human Rights Council of St. Petersburg. - Russia 

Lilia Shibanova, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Russia 

Bureau for Regional Outreach Campaigns - BROC Vladivostok, Russia

Pride Kosice - Slovakia 

Central European Forum - Slovakia 

Human Rights League - Slovakia 

Slovak Humanitarian Council - Slovakia 

People in Need Slovakia - Slovakia 

Via Iuris - Slovakia 

Inakosť - Slovakia 

Transfuzia - Slovakia 

Bi-centrum - Slovakia 

EduRoma - Slovakia 

Centrum komunitneho organizovania - Centre for Community Organizing - Slovakia 

SLOGA, platforma nevladnih organizacij za razvoj, globalno učenje in humanitarno pomoč – Slovenia

Društvo Humanitas

Društvo Odnos – Slovenia 

Mirovni inštitut – Slovenia

Kulturno-umetniško društvo Mreža - Slovenia

Društvo za uveljavljanje enakosti in pluralnosti Vita Activa – Slovenia

Društvo informacijski center Legebitra - Slovenia 

TransAkcija - Slovenia 

Society for awareness raising and protection - center of antidiscrimination (OVCA) - Slovenia 

Društvo za nenasilno komunikacijo - Association for nonviolent communications - Slovenia

Focus, društvo za sonaraven razvoj - Focus, association for sustainable development - Slovenia

Legal Resources Center - South Africa

Rights International Spain - Spain

Asociación Katío - Spain

Ecologistas en Acción – Spain

AIETI – Asociacion de Investigacion y Especializacion Sobre Temas Iberoamericanos

APDHE - Spain

ICID - Spain

Comité Monseñor Óscar Romero de Madrid - Spain

Mujeres de Negro contra la Guerra – Madrid - Spain

Acción Verapaz - Spain

Colectivo Ansur - Spain

Calala Fondo de Mujeres – Spain

Global Witness - Spain

ACAT-Schweiz Suisse Svizzera - Switzerland

Human Rights Association (İHD) – Turkey  

Pylyp Orlyk Institute of Democracy - Ukraine 

La Strada - Ukraine 

Kharkiv Human Rights Group - Ukraine 

Suspilni Ekolohichni Initsiatyvy - Ukraine 

Kharkiv Regional Foundation "Public Alternative" - Ukraine 

Human Rights Information Centre - Ukraine 

Kyiv Educational Centre "Prostir Tolerantnosti" - Ukraine 

Human Rights Centre "All Rights" - Ukraine 

Ternopil Human Rights Group - Ukraine 

Vostok SOS - Ukraine 

EHA "Green World" - Ukraine 

Adaptatsiynyi Cholovichyi Tsentr - Ukraine 

Helsinski Initiative – XXI - Ukraine 

Center for Civil Liberties - Ukraine 

Ekolohichna Hrupa Pechenihy - Ukraine 

Romano radio Chiriklo - Ukraine 

Civil Initiative Center - Ukraine


Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) - United Kingdom

Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York - United Kingdom

The solicitor's international human rights group - United Kingdom

The Oakland Institute, United States of America

CIVILIS Derechos Humanos - Venezuela 

Acción Solidaria on HIV/aids - Venezuela 

Asociación Civil Fuerza, Unión, Justicia, Solidaridad y Paz - Venezuela 

Programa de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos - Venezuela 

Centro Comunitario de Aprendizaje – Venezuela

Comité de Familiares de Víctimas de los Sucesos de Febrero y Marzo de 1989 - Venezuela

Centro de Justicia y Paz - Venezuela

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