Human Rights Advocacy
Since its founding, a primary goal of the Coalition has been to provide Washington decision-makers with credible and timely information about important issues to its members. This includes monitoring human rights issues affecting the Hungarian communities of the region – primarily in Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine. Activities include:
- Operating an Information Office in Washington, D.C. and Budapest, Hungary
- Staying in frequent contact with Hungarian community leaders in Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine about events affecting the Hungarian communities of each region.
- Coordinating activities and information with member organizations to stay abreast of human right issues and/or violations in Romania, Slovakia and Serbia.
- Monitoring news and media reports on matters of interest to Hungarian Americans to share and exchange with the community.
- Organizing a December White House Briefing to acquaint members with officials of the Administration, the State Department and the National Security Council.
Coalition leaders stay in frequent contact with Hungarian community leaders across the Carpathian Basin. Over the years, Coalition members have traveled to the surrounding countries hundreds of times and arranged visits for minority leaders to visit DC-based decision-makers personally to make their case.
In addition, The Coalition actively recruits young Hungarian living outside of Hungary to participate in our educational and scholarship programs. HAC also presents educational and cultural awards to Hungarian communities across the region.
- Posonium Awards in Slovakia
- Hungarian American Coalition Award at the Bolyai Farkas High School in Marosvásárhely
For many years, the Coalition partnered with one of our founding members, the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation, to organize Human Rights Workshops for young Hungarians to learn how to inform decision makers about the plight of Hungarians.
White House Briefings
A highlight of the Coalition’s traditional December weekend has been the annual White House Briefing, where Coalition members and Honorary Consuls have a chance to meet Administration, National Security Council and State Department officials. This provides a unique opportunity to learn about the Administration’s policies and to share with them Coalition members’ concerns.
Since 1994 many briefing topics have changed, but some have remained the same. The early questions about Hungary deriving full benefit from U.S. government aid programs gave way to queries about requirements for Hungary’s NATO membership, later about the Visa Waiver Program, the U.S.-Hungary bilateral relationship and similar issues. But what has remained the same are questions about U.S. policy regarding the continued discrimination of the minority rights of historic Hungarian communities in the countries surrounding Hungary.