Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights | Hungary

In 2016, the Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities (within the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights) investigated complaints about Roma persons suffering discriminative treatment in the form of ethnic profiling and screening at Hungarian and other European airports during pre-boarding to Canadian flights. Several Roma families were refused boarding despite having tickets and travel documents in order. The Minority Ombudsman issued a General Comment, which stated that it is a fundamental requirement to carry out preliminary controls on the basis of a written protocol. Passengers need advance information on the purpose of the control. Procedural and formal criteria for anti-discrimination must be fulfilled, including the provision of information on possible forms of legal remedies.

V4 Ombudspersons in Central Europe, Equinet, CERD, OPRE Roma Platform and CAHROM also addressed the case and contacted Canadian authorities. Problematic flights to Canada from Budapest were cancelled since 2017.