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05/07/2013The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities considers a claim on lack of ATM accessibility in Hungary a Human Rights violation.

This Committee urges the Hungarian State to take appropriate measures such as establishing minimum standards for the accessibility of banking services provided by private financial institutions.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) examined a claim by two Hungarian citizens regarding "Failure by the State party’s authorities to eliminate discrimination on the ground of disability by a private credit institution and to ensure that persons with visual impairments have an unimpeded access to the services provided by the ATMs on the equal basis with the other clients".

The UN disability rights body confirms that equal access to banking services should be granted to all.

The articles invoked for this claim were :

  • CRPD articles 5, paras. 2 and 3; 9 and 12, para. 5
  • OPCRPD article 2(e) and (f)

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities stated in the Communication No. 1/2010 "Views adopted by the Committee at its 9th session, 15 to 19 April 2013" the following recommendations to Hungary:

"1. Concerning the authors: the State party is under an obligation to remedy the lack of accessibility for the authors to the banking card services provided by the ATMs operated by the OTP. The State party should also provide adequate compensation to the authors for the legal costs incurred during domestic proceedings and costs incurred in filing this communication;

2. General: the State party is under an obligation to take measures to prevent similar violations in the future, including by:

(a) Establishing minimum standards for the accessibility of banking services provided by private financial institutions for persons with visual and other types of impairments. The Committee recommends the State party to create a legislative framework with concrete, enforceable and time-bound benchmarks for monitoring and assessing the gradual modification and adjustment by private financial institutions of previously inaccessible banking services provided by them into accessible ones. The State party should also ensure that all newly procured ATMs and other banking services are fully accessible for persons with disabilities;

(b) Providing for appropriate and regular training on the scope of the Convention and its Optional Protocol to judges and other judicial officials in order for them to adjudicate cases in a disability-sensitive manner;

(c) Ensuring that its legislation and the manner in which it is applied by domestic courts is consistent with the State party’s obligations to ensure that legislation does not have the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of any right for persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others".

The full Communication is available at the OHCHR website, in MS Word format.

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