ECON
HAPN

The Hungarian Anti Poverty Network was founded in April 2004 and joined the European Anti Poverty Network just a few months later. The network has 94 national, regional and local civil society organisations and many individuals (people experiencing poverty) as members now from hole Hungary. Our member organisations cover the whole territory of the country including the most disadvantaged and deprived micro-regions and settlements. The organisations differ from each other in many senses (their focus of activity, measures etc.) but most of them work directly with people experiencing poverty and social exclusion (providing services and counselling for them).

The Network is organised at regional and national level with activities and coordination at both levels.  The Network worked out a model for the real participation of people experiencing poverty, and all of our activities are carried out in the cooperation of professionals and so called "experienced experts" (people living in poverty who know poverty the most). The operative tasks are taken by the secretariat which is lead by the director of the Network. As the Hungarian Anti Poverty Network is an informal "organisation", the Hungarian Anti Poverty Network Foundation provides legal entity for the projects. The Foundation was established in September 2006. As the main aim of the Network is to improve participation of people experiencing poverty we organise regular trainings and other activities to empower them. As there is a shortage of organisations of people experiencing poverty in Hungary, our Network try to support their self-organisation via community organising and other methods.

Workfare Movement For The Future

The "Workfare Movement For The Future" group is a non-partisan community organization, whose members are workfare workers themselves. The group is supported by the community organizing program of the Hungarian Anti Poverty Network. The workfare workers are the members of the group working voluntarily to achieve their own advocacy, since they are the most vulnerable legally employed people in Hungary and they are the ones to know the best what they need. By recruitment, trainings, coalition-building and using direct actions to pressure the government, the group tries to claim for more effective state operation and for more rights for the employees on the local and national level as well. By carrying out these activities, their dignity and self-confidence is growing, and they also have a bigger chance to find their place in the open labour market.

The group works on the topics that mean the deepest problems to them:

  • Wage: the average wage of a workfare worker does not reach the level of the official national minimum wage.
  • Contract: the conditions for losing the job (and therefore all public benefits for up to a year) are harsh, power abuse from the employers is an every-day experience.
  • Working conditions: there are no adequate tool supply (work clothes, shovels, etc.), most workers don't have a locker room or access to toilets.
  • Degrading treatment: conflicts with the employer and bypassers fueled by the anti-unemployed communication of the government.
  • Ways out: the trainings and education programs are not sufficient and not well-aimed.

The group is working on local issues related to workfare: surplus work, conflicts with the employer, wage not arriving on contract deadline, etc. But since parlamentiary elections are held on the 6th of April, the group is preparing to put pressure on stake-holders with addressing national issues with:

  • building coalitions around the topic with experts, advocacy organizations, etc.;
  • sending a questionnaire to all parties to ask them about their plans on unemployment and workfare;
  • organizing a public event to publicize the findings of the questionnaire, with the involvement of officials and oppositional politicians.

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