Cause of Action: Romani Children in State Care in Nógrád County (Hungary)

20 November 2017

Cause of Action: Romani Children in State Care in Nógrád County (Hungary)

The data showed that Romani children are grossly overrepresented in the care system in Nógrád County: although they make up under 20% of the county’s population, Romani children make up over 80% of those in care. The data showed a strong correlation between deep poverty, severe deprivation, and the entry of children into the care system. Even though, in line with the basic principles of Hungary’s Child Protection Act, children cannot be removed from their family solely for material reasons, the poverty of the affected families was clearly a significant reason for most removals. In many cases, removal could be prevented by providing comprehensive support and appropriate services to impoverished families. 

The study reveals various contradictions embedded in perceptions of the professional child protection system and its relationship with ethnic origin. Child protection professionals initially expressed deep reservations about answering questions concerning ethnicity; however, they ultimately answered these questions openly. This inconsistency suggests that while ethnicity plays a substantial role in the child protection system, official discussion and recognition of this role is stigmatised and rare.

The full report is available here.


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