On November 30, the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation (HHRF) held a Human Rights Advocacy Workshop on Hungarian minorities at the Kossuth House in Washington, DC. In the evening, in coordination with the Kossuth Foundation, we were joined by keynote speaker, Natália Váradi, visiting from Beregszász, Kárpátalja (Berehove, Transcarpathia), Ukraine.
The all-day workshop gave the diverse group of participants opportunity to hear from experts Luca Mórocz (Hungarian exchange diplomat at the Department of State), Gabe Rózsa (public policy professional, attorney), Balázs Tárnok (Director of the Europe Strategy Research Institute at the University of Public Service and Slovakia expert), Emese Latkóczy (Executive Director of HHRF, human rights advocate), and Petra Kovács (program coordinator of HHRF, human rights advocate).
The day included interactive discussions and a visit to Congress with staffers to discuss the current issues facing Hungarian minorities in Romania and Slovakia. Here, participants were also able to ask pressing questions and get first-hand experience in advocacy.
In advance of the workshop, participants were provided with background documentation preparing them for a better understanding of property restitution in Romania, the Benes Decrees issue in Slovakia, and a summary about the historical events that resulted in minority status for millions of ethnic Hungarians.
The workshop was followed by keynote speaker, Natália Váradi, visiting from Beregszász, Kárpátalja (Berehove, Transcarpathia) with a Q&A and reception. Dr. Váradi made a special trip to Washington to inform, first-hand, a gathering at the Kossuth House about current realities in the country. Providing an excellent overview of the Hungarian community’s recent history, Dr. Váradi detailed the precipitous decline in minority rights the community has faced since 2015.