Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) – a law reform and legal defence public interest NGO, working independently of political parties, the state or any if its institutions. The HCLU strives to educate citizens about their basic human rights and freedoms, and takes stand against undue interference and misuse of power by those in positions of authority. The focus points of HCLU’s activities are: patient rights, freedom of expression, right to privacy, transparency, right to assembly, civil participation in political representation, Roma rights. The legal aid service represents dozens of cases all around the country and before international human rights arbitration.
Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) – the organization was established in 1989. It started its permanent activities in 1994-1995. HHC monitors whether rights that are assured by domestic law can be effectively exercised, and whether Hungarian legislation guarantees the rights that it should under either international treaties or the general principles of human rights. The main topics in the centre of HHC’s activities are: asylum rights; law enforcement agencies with special regard to the detention facilities;equal treatment; rule of law.
Eötvös Károly Institute – institute was established in 2003. The Institute is deeply committed to the liberal interpretation of constitutionality, constitutional democracy and individual rights. These values are manifested in three forms of activity: firstly, awareness raising among the echelons of government and society at large, optimally even swaying the practitioners of public power in the decisions they make; secondly, turn to political decision makers indirectly by drafting specific policy proposals, concepts, and background studies, with a view to representing a constitutional, liberal perspective in regulatory issues; thirdly, the Institute engages in conducting long-term surveys and studies investigating the condition of certain institutions of the democratic republic, such as the courts, the municipalities, and the law enforcement agencies, and of certain public services.
K-Monitor Watchdog for Public Funds – founded in 2007 with the aim of creating an independent non-governmental forum that keeps Hungarian and international corruption-related cases at issue. The association promotes the values of information society and the power of investigative journalism, therefore, most of its projects are somehow connected to information and communication technologies as well as to journalism. One of its major feature is a database in which on-line articles concerning corruption, public financing, and the transparency of public life in Hungary are gathered and stored. The website of K-Monitor also operates a leaking interface that provides opportunity to share your experiences regarding corruption. It is an effective way to connect potential whistleblowers with investigate journalists.
Budapest Institute – founded in November 2008 as a partnership of young economists and political scientists sharing theoretical and hands-on experience in research and government administration. The major focal issues of the Institute are: poverty, transparency and accountability, desegregation in education, Roma integration.
Átlátszó Center for Investigative Journalism – a watchdog NGO based in Budapest, Hungary, that combines investigative journalism and civic activism to promote transparency in Hungary. The center helps whistleblowers, who wish to shine light on corruption issues or other misuses of power but cannot turn to the mainstream press. The main purpose of the Átlatszó.hu is to publish materials which are constituting public data under Hungarian law, e. g. contracts and other documents concerning government institutions, state-owned businesses, or local governments, but which would not be published in public media organs or mainstream media as a consequence of political and economic interests.
Environmental Management and Law Association – a non-profit non-governmental organization working in environmental law and environmental management on national, European and international levels. The main activities of EMLA are public interest environmental legal advice and litigation, environmental legal research, consulting and education, and carrying out of environmental management projects. Besides, EMLA Association is active in environmental education.
NANE Women’s Rights Association – an NGO that dedicates its effort to fight domestic violence, started its operation in 1994. It operates legal aid service for victims and raises public awareness of domestic violence through publications and training sessions It initiates legal and public administration reforms in areas where the current regulations do not guarantee equal protection under the law for victims of domestic violence. NANE runs a hotline for battered women and children.
The City is for All is an NGO that dedicates its efforts to help homeless and formerly homeless people, those struggling with housing problems and their allies work together for an egalitarian and just society. The NGO is based on voluntary work and provides an opportunity for homeless people to stand up for their dignity and fight for the right to housing. The City is for All organizes campaigns and actions to defend homeless people’s rights, to advocate for their interests, and to change the social perception of homelessness. It fight against all forms of stigmatization and discrimination, and cooperate with other marginalized groups. Besides awareness raising programs and demonstrations, the organization has a legal aid service program (Streetlawyer) and also runs a weekly radio show.
Enegrgiaklub – Climate Policy Institute and Applied Communications – ENERGIAKLUB promotes green agenda in the energy policy by emphasizing the importance of alternative energy resources, energy efficiency, renewable energy. It also monitors the usage of nuclear energy and expansion of nuclear facilities. With research, training courses, and wide-reaching communication, its aim is to make energy producers, users and perhaps even political decision-makers regard energy in a different way. A rational use of our dwindling resources, an economy based on diverse local resources, a change in energy-wasting consumer habits; these are all part of the solutions which the organisation supports through its work.
Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) – a non-profit and non-political organization with the aim of promoting ethical, fact-based journalism and independent media in Hungary. It promotes investigate journalism by organizing trainings and publishing toolkits. The Roma Media Internship Program aims to young Roma journalists to have work experience at major media organizations.
The above list was prepared under the project “Powerful Watchdogs” supported by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union.