All Countries Hungary

2021 RLLR 104

Citation: 2021 RLLR 104
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: November 30, 2021
Panel: David Jones
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Kristina Cooke
Country: Hungary
RPD Number: VC1-05525
Associated RPD Number(s): N/A
ATIP Number: A-2022-01778
ATIP Pages: N/A


[1]       MEMBER: So, this is the decision of the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada for the claim of XXXX XXXX who is a citizen of Hungary seeking refugee protection pursuant to Sections 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

[2]       I also reviewed and applied the Chairperson’s guideline on women refugee claimants fearing gender related persecution.


[3]       The claimant fears persecution if she were to return Hungary based on her Roma background. The claimant also left Hungary due to her fears from her ex-partner XXXX(ph) XXXX(ph).

[4]       Details of the claimant’s allegations can be found in her Basis of Claim Form and Narrative, including the amendments found at Exhibit 6. The following is a summary of the claimant’s allegations and testimony.

[5]       The claimant’s parents were Roma. The claimant described her mother as light skinned Roma who is possibly half Roma.

[6]       In the 2013, the claimant met her ex-partner. The allegations describe numerous incidents where the claimant was a victim of physical abuse from her ex-partner throughout the entirety of their relationship.

[7]       The claimant also described numerous problems she experienced due to her Roma ethnicity. These include harassment and discrimination when she was at school, during employment, with public transportation, and in receiving healthcare,

[8]       Further, the claimant provided examples of violence she suffered due to her ethnicity. For example, in 2015, the claimant was attacked along with other Roma by skinned heads in Budapest when she was selling XXXX. Also, in 2015, the claimant began to save money in order to leave Hungary. The claimant only told her son her plans for leaving the country.

[9]       On XXXX XXXX XXXX 2018 the claimant left Hungary for Canada and claimed refugee protection.


[10]     I find that the claimant is a Convention refugee.



[11]     The claimant’s identity as a citizen of Hungary has been established, on a balance of probabilities, by the claimant’s testimony and Hungarian passport which is located at Exhibit 1.


[12]     The allegations establish a nexus to a Convention ground for the claimant based on her ethnicity as Roma. The allegations may also support another nexus, but given my determination I find it unnecessary to assess an alternative nexus.


[13]     I find that, on a balance of probabilities, that the claimant has established her Roma ethnicity. In making that finding I’m relying on the principle that a claimant who affirms to tell the truth creates a presumption of truthfulness unless there are reasons to doubt their truthfulness.

[14]     In this regard, the claimant was able to describe incidents of discrimination throughout her life. The claimant testified that in her primary school she and other Roma students had to sit at the back of the classroom, and how there was a lot of hatred directed towards the Roma students.

[15]     The claimant also described incidents of discrimination when trying to find employment at her workplace, and while she was on the bus, as well as trying to obtain healthcare. The claimant described why she believed that the country conditions for Roma are the same throughout the country.

[16]     The claimant also testified that she would be identified as Roma due to her appearance, and she gave detailed testimony about Roma burial practices.

[17]     Finally, the claimant was able to answer specific questions when asked without apparent embellishment. There were no relevant inconsistencies between the claimant’s testimony and the other evidence. And as such, I find that the claimant was a credible witness.

[18]     The claimant also provided personal documents to support her claim found at Exhibit 4. These include medical records for the claimant. When asked why the claimant provided the documents she testified that she misunderstood what type of documents she needed to provide.

[19]     While I’ve no reason to doubt genuineness of these documents, I find that they have no relevance in the hearing today and I give them no weight.

[20]     Nonetheless, the credibility of the claimant does allow me to find that the claimant has established, on a balance of probabilities, the facts alleged in her claim, including her Roma background and her subjective fear of returning to Hungary.

Objective Basis:

[21]     The objective evidence supports the claimant’s fears of returning to Hungary due to her Roma ethnicity. For example, a 2021 response to information request at Item 13.5 in the National Documentation Package for Hungary, which is found at Exhibit 3, indicates that Roma in Hungary face widespread discrimination regardless of residence, education, and social status.

[22]     The report notes that discrimination exists in areas … sorry. The discrimination exists in access to justice, housing, employment, education, and healthcare. The report also indicates that Roma are subject to violence, and that Roma women face multiple intersectional forms of discrimination based on ethnicity and gender.

[23]     Another example can be found at … in a 2021 US Department of State report found at Item 2.1. That report states that and I quote,

Human rights NGOs continue to report that Roma suffered social and economic exclusion and discrimination in almost all fields of life. According to an October 12th report prepared for the Council of Europe by the advisory committee on the framework Convention for the protection of national minorities, Roma face discrimination in education, employment, and access to housing and healthcare.

[24]     The report also indicates that significant human rights issues in Hungary include threats of violence by extremists targeting Roma.

[25]     Further, with respect to violence, a 2019 response to information report on extremist violence against Roma described how racist violence against Roma remain one of the most pressing issues in the country. The RIR also quotes reports that an increasing number of Hungary … Hungarian youths are joining far right wing and neo-Nazi movements.

[26]     The claimant also provided numerous country condition documents found at Exhibit 7. These include articles that highlight specific incidents of discrimination the Roma face in Hungary with respect to housing, education, employment, and family unity.

[27]     Further, other recent articles describe the anti-Roma hatred and violence from far right groups in the country.

[28]     I find that the claimant has established, in addition to the incidents of violence, that she has faced cumulative ethnic discrimination in all aspects of her life that amount to persecution.

[29]     Given there is no indication that the conditions have improved in the country for the Roma people, I find that the claimant would face more than a mere possibly of persecution if she were to return to Hungary.

State Protection and Internal Flight Alternative:

[30]     I’ve considered whether State protection is available to the claimant.

[31]     The objective evidence, including reports noted above, indicates that anti-Roma prejudice is present among police officers, and Roma are subject to ethnic profiling.

[32]     For example, a 2018 response to information request found at Item 10.1 states a number of sources who indicate that the police often fail to investigate and prosecute credible claims of hate crimes, and that Roma face continued hostility from police forces. This is similar to the claimant’s belief.

[33]     The claimant testified that the police have an attitude that they don’t care about what happens to the Roma people. The claimant said that the police knew skinheads were around and assaulting the Roma people selling produce and took no action. The claimant testified that she believed that the police were racist and did not help the Roma people.

[34]     Given the totality of the evidence, I find that there’s no operationally effective State protection available to the claimant in her particular circumstances,

[35]     Further, given that there is insufficient evidence to show that there’s a location in Hungary where the Roma do not face discrimination and violence and with the lack of State protection noted above, I find that there is no viable internal flight alternative available to the claimant as she would face more than a mere possibility of persecution anywhere in the country.


[36]     For the foregoing reasons I determine that the claimant is a Convention refugee pursuant to Section 96 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and the Board therefore accepts the claim.

[37]     Thank you. And, Madam Interpreter, whenever you’re ready just, please go ahead.———- REASONS CONCLUDED ———-