“We stand in solidarity with civil society in Hungary”

More than 250 organisations 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  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 law 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.

As defenders of rights and freedoms, we want people everywhere to be able to speak out without being attacked, threatened or jailed.

These 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.

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 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): 

InternationalAEDH – Association Europeenne de Droits de l’Homme
Amnesty International
Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties)
Civil Society Europe
Clean Clothes Campaign International Office
Clean Clothes International
CONCORD – European Confederation of Relief and development NGOs
ENAR – European Network Against Racism
European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL)
European Cultural Foundation

European Humanist FederationEuropean Volunteer Centre
FIDH, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
Funders’ Initiative for Civil Society
Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe
Human Rights First
Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF)
Human Rights Watch
ILGA – Europe
International Civil Society Centre
La Strada International
Le Réseau EUROMED DROITSUNITED for Intercultural Action – European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees
Light for the World
Reporters sans Frontières
The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)
Transgender Europe
Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights
World Organisation against Torture, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders


AustriaClean Clothes Kampagne Austria


Creating Communities 

ACAT – Belgique/ Belgie/ Belgium
Artsen zonder Vakantie
çavaria vzw
Liga voor mensenrechten
Protection International
Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen
Volonteurope Belgium
WWF Belgium

CambodiaMinority Rights Organization (MIRO)

CroatiaBrod Ecological Society – BED
Centre for Peace Studies from Zagreb
CESI – Center for Education, Counselling and Research
Civic Committee for Human Rights
CROSOL – Croatian Platform for International Citizen Solidarity
Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past
Human Rights House Zagreb
Rehabilitation center for stress and trauma

Czech RepublicAdra Česká republika
Agora Central Europe
Asociace pro mezinárodní otázky – AMO
Calla – Sdružení pro záchranu prostředí
Centrum pro integraci cizinců – Centre for Integration of Foreigners
Česká odborná společnost pro inkluzivní vzdělávání (ČOSIV)
Česká společnost ornitologická
Český helsinský výbor
Člověk v tísni – People in Need
DEMAS – Association for Democracy Assistance and Human Rights – Asociace pro podporu demokracie a lidských práv
Diakonie (Českobratrské církve evangelické) – Diaconia (Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren)
Forum 2000 – The Forum 2000 Foundation
Glopolis – Glopolis
In Iustitia
Institut pro evropskou politiku EUROPEUM
Konsorcium nevládních organizací pracujících s migranty – Consortium of Migrants Assisting Organizations
META – Společnost pro příležitosti mladých migrantů – Association for opportunities of young migrants
Most pro o.p.s. – poradna pro cizince
Občanské Bělorusko
Organizace pro pomoc uprchlíkům – Organization for aid to refugees
Pavel Havlicek, Analyst at the Research Centre, Association for International Affairs Prague, Czech Republic
SIMI – Sdružení pro integraci a migraci – Association for integration and migration
The Civil Society Development Foundation (Nadace rozvoje občanské společnosti – NROS
The League of Human rights
The Open Society Fund Prague
Transparency International ČR

Denmark Nyt Europa

FinlandEnsi- ja turvakotien liitto
ETMU ry (Society for the Study of Ethnic Relations and International Migration)
Ihmisoikeusliitto ry – Finnish League for Human Rights
Kehitysmaayhdistys Pääskyt ry
Kehitysyhteistyöjärjestöjen EU-yhdistys Kehys ry – The Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU Kehys
Seta LGBTIQ Rights in Finland
Suomen Mielenterveysseura ry
Suomen Nuorisoyhteistyö – Allianssi ry
Suomen Pakolaisapu | Finnish Refugee Council
Suomen Setlementtiliitto
Suomen somalialaisten liitto
Trasek ry
Vammaisten perus- ja ihmisoikeusjärjestö Kynnys ry

FranceLigue des droits de l’Homme (LDH)

GermanyACAT-Deutschland e.V.
Adivasi-Koordination in Deutschland e.V.
ADRA Deutschland e.V
BAfF e.V.-Bundesweite Arbeitsgemeinschaft Psychosozialer Zentren für Flüchtlinge und Folteropfer
Bundesfachverband Unbegleitete Minderjährige Flüchtlinge e.V.
Civil Liberties Union for Europe e.V.”
Deutsche Kommission Justitia et Pax
Deutsches Medikamenten-Hilfswerk action medeor e.V.
Development Policy Network of Saxony / Entwicklungspolitisches Netzwerk Sachsen e.V.
Forum Menschenrechte
Germanwatch e.V.
Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung (HES)
Lesben- und Schwulenverband in Deutschland (LSVD)
Missionsärztliches Institut Würzburg
Solidaritätsdienst International e.V. (SODI)
Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken
VENRO – Verband Entwicklungspolitik und humanitäre Hilfe deutscher Nichtregierungsorganisationen e.V.
Welthaus Bielefeld e.V.
Weltveränderer e.V.

IndiaHuman Rights Law Network

IrelandChristian Aid Ireland
Front Line Defenders
Irish Nurses and Midwives organisation
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)
Transgender Equality Network Ireland

CILD – Italian Civil Liberties Advocacy Coalition
Dr Andrea Gullotta, Memorial Italia Italy
LIDU – Lega Italiana dei diritti dell’Uomo

LatviaLatvian Platform for Development Cooperation
Latvia’s Association for Family Planning and Sexual Health

LuxembourgACAT Luxemburg
ASTI (Association de Soutien aux Travailleurs Immigrés)
Caritas Luxembourg
Reech eng Hand

MexicoDavid Barkin – Profesor de Economía Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco

Amsterdamse Diakonie
Article 19
ASKV – Steunpunt Vluchtelingen
Clara Wichmannfonds
Dutch section of the International Commission of Jurists (NJCM)
Foundation Max van der Stoel
Free Press Unlimited
Humanistisch Verbond
Humanity House
IMMO – instituut voor Mensenrechten en Medisch Onderzoek
INLIA – International Network of Local Initiatives with Asylumseekers
Justice and Peace Netherlands
Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights
Movies that Matter
Netherlands Helsinki Committee
NVJ – Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten
Partizan Publik
Power of Art House
Privacy First
Stichting LOS – Landelijk Ongedocumenteerden Steunpunt
Stichting Vluchteling
Stichting voor Vluchteling-Studenten – UAF
The Amsterdam Gay Pride
The Hague Peace Projects
Transnational Institute (TNI)
VLot – fonds voor vluchtelingen
VluchtelingenWerk Netherlands
XminY het Actiefonds


African Law Foundation (AFRILAW)

Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI)

NorwayThe Norwegian Helsinki Committee

PolandAssociation against Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia Open Republic

ASTRA Network – Central and Eastern European Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and RightsCentre for International Relations (CIR)
Citizens Network Watchdog Poland
Danuta Przywara, President of the Board, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights Poland
Fundacja Ari Ari
Fundacja Autonomia
Fundacja ePaństwo
Fundacja im. Stefana Batorego
Fundacja Partners Polska – Poland
Fundacja Pole Dialogu
Grupy Zagranica – Poland
Helsińska Fundacja Praw Człowieka
INPRIS – Institute for Law and Society
Institute of Public Affairs
Instytut Prawa i Społeczeństwa
Instytut Spraw Publicznych
Małopolskie Towarzystwo Oświatowe z Nowego Sącza
National Federation of Polish NGOs
Ogólnopolska Federacja Organizacji Pozarządowych
Polski Instytut Praw Człowieka I Biznesu
Polskie Towarzystwo Prawa Antydyskryminacyjnego
Pracownia Badań i Innowacji Społecznych “Stocznia
Projekt: Polska
Sieć Obywatelska Watchdog Polska
Stefan Batory Foundation Poland
Stowarzyszenie Interwencji Prawnej
Stowarzyszenie Klon/Jawor
Stowarzyszenie przeciw Antysemityzmowi i Ksenofobii Otwarta Rzeczpospolita
Stowarzyszenie Willa Decjusza
The Unit for Social Innovation & Research Shipyard
Towarzystwo Edukacji Antydyskryminacyjnej

Agenția Impreuna
Alaturi de Voi Romania
Asociatia Militia Spirituala
Asociatia One World Romania
Asociatia Pro Democratia
Center for Independent Journalism
Dizabnet – Federatia prestatorilor pentru persoane cu dizabilitati
Expert Forum
Federatia Organizatiilor Neguvernamentale pentru Copil
FONSS (The Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations for Social Services)
Fundatia Estuar
Gabriela Tudor Foundation
Inițiativa România
Mediawise Society Association
NGOs Federation for Children Romania
Resource Center for Public Participation – CeRe (Romania)
RISE Romania
The Civil Society Development Foundation
The Swedish Organisation for Individual Relief

RussiaAndrei Suslov, Center for Citizanship Education and Human Rights, Perm
Bureau for Regional Outreach Campaigns – BROC Vladivostok
Evdokimova Natalia Leonidovna, Human Rights Council of St. Petersburg.
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
Lilia Shibanova, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Russia
Moscow Helsinki Group

Central European Forum
Centrum komunitneho organizovania – Centre for Community Organizing
Human Rights League
Karpatska nadacia
Open Society Foundation Bratislava
People in Need Slovakia
Poradna pre obcianske a ludske prava
Pride Kosice
Slovak Humanitarian Council
Via Iuris

SloveniaDruštvo Humanitas
Društvo informacijski center Legebitra
Društvo Odnos
Društvo za nenasilno komunikacijo – Association for nonviolent communications
Društvo za uveljavljanje enakosti in pluralnosti Vita Activa
Focus, društvo za sonaraven razvoj – Focus, association for sustainable development
Kulturno-umetniško društvo Mreža
Mirovni inštitut
SLOGA, platforma nevladnih organizacij za razvoj, globalno učenje in humanitarno pomoč
Society for awareness raising and protection – center of antidiscrimination (OVCA)

South AfricaLegal Resources Center

SpainAcción Verapaz
AIETI – Asociacion de Investigacion y Especializacion Sobre Temas Iberoamericanos
Altrapo Lab
Asociación Katío
Calala Fondo de Mujeres
Colectivo Ansur
Comisión Legal Sol
Comité Monseñor Óscar Romero de Madrid
Ecologistas en Acción
Global Witness
Mujeres de Negro contra la Guerra – Madrid
Rights International Spain

SwitzerlandACAT-Schweiz Suisse Svizzera

TurkeyHuman Rights Association (İHD)

UkraineAdaptatsiynyi Cholovichyi Tsentr
Center for Civil Liberties
Civil Initiative Center
EHA “Green World”
Ekolohichna Hrupa Pechenihy
Helsinski Initiative – XXI
Human Rights Centre “All Rights”
Human Rights Information Centre
Kharkiv Human Rights Group
Kharkiv Regional Foundation “Public Alternative”
Kyiv Educational Centre “Prostir Tolerantnosti”
La Strada
Pylyp Orlyk Institute of Democracy
Romano radio Chiriklo
Suspilni Ekolohichni Initsiatyvy
Ternopil Human Rights Group
Vostok SOS

United KingdomCentre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York
Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ)
Labour Behind the Label
The solicitor’s international human rights group

Love Music Hate RacismUnite Against Fascism
Stand Up To Racism

Care for Calais

United States of AmericaThe Oakland Institute

VenezuelaAcción Solidaria on HIV/aids
Asociación Civil Fuerza, Unión, Justicia, Solidaridad y Paz
Centro Comunitario de Aprendizaje
Centro de Justicia y Paz
CIVILIS Derechos Humanos
Comité de Familiares de Víctimas de los Sucesos de Febrero y Marzo de 1989
Programa de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos