Hungary

Legal Analysis: Hungary's Special Tax on Migration-Related Activities

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This is a summary legal analysis of the Hungarian law, Section 253 of Act XLI of 2018, which, as of August 25, 2018, imposes a special tax on migration-related activities and financing. This analysis is produced by the Open Society Justice Initiative and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and focuses on the law’s violations of the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as the OSCE/ODIHR and Venice Commission Guidelines on Freedom of Association.

Introduction

  • On August 25, 2018, a new law came into effect In Hungary levying a 25% tax on financing or activities “supporting” immigration or “promoting” migration in Hungary.”1
  • This law, Section 253 of Act XLI of 2018 (“Section 253”), restricts internationally protected work of human rights’ NGOs in Hungary. Furthermore, it violates the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association, non-discrimination, effective remedies, and property, recognized by the European human rights legal framework.
  • This document sets forth an analysis of Section 253 by two nongovernmental organizations, the Open Society Justice Initiative and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, which concludes that Section 253 fails to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights. Additional detailed analyses can be found in Open Society Foundation’s and Hungarian Helsinki Committee’s applications to the European Court of Human Rights challenging Section 253.2