SWAN is delighted to bring you news on the campaign in support of Norbert 'Pumukli' Ferencz, the Hungarian Social Worker standing up for homeless people in his country, whom SWAN have been supporting since last autumn.

Norbert was arrested for speaking out against a new law to criminalise rough sleepers. He was later charged with 'incitement' and faced a three year prison sentence.

SWAN has heard from Maria Moritz of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) this week that the Supreme Court in Budapest has acquitted Norbert.

Maria has informed us that parts of the new legislation through which Norbert was charged have been revised being unconstitutional - therefore, there was no further evidence that Norbert was in breach of any law. Maria feels that all the international protests, including SWAN's, have helped to revise the law and helped lead to charges against Norbert being dropped. It is a great victory for the community of social workers and for IFSW.

Norbert FerenczMaria added that colleagues in Hungary expressed their special thanks to all in IFSW and others; they are convinced about the impact of the international campaign for solidarity with Norbert Ferencz.

Please also see below a request to support Norbert Ferencz in another manner:

Dear Friends, Fellow Social Workers, Colleagues, Educators, Students All Around the Word,

Norbert (Pumukli) Ferencz, Hungarian Social Worker is the first professional in our country who was sentenced by the court for his professional activity promoting homeless people on the street! He lost his job, but he did not give it up!

He has entered an independent job-competition in Hungary called ‘Full-time Angel’ so as to give voice to the poorest by promoting corporate social responsibility. His aim is based on the idea of Lut Goossens, a Belgian colleague who started to develop the ‘Expert by Experience’ training model for poor and excluded people. There are already 45 trained and qualified EEs in Hungary as well, but they have not been accepted as an independent profession. Pumukli’s aim is to fight for their acceptance.

Please VOTE for him so as to win the competition, get the job and help the poor!

He needs 800 votes from all around the word until 3 June 2012!

Please mobilize your network on the internet as well!

This seems to be a real chance for him!

His direct link is as follows:


Please VOTE like this:

Step 1: Register on facebook

Step 2: Click to the link above (This is a Hungarian language home page)

Step 3: Please click to = „Szavazok rá” (in Hungarian language) = I vote for him!

Step 4: (Your vote shall be valid if you accept your vote once again!)

A Hungarian language ‘conversation panel’ shall appear starting with “Csak egy palyazatra ...” and ending with: “... szavazol ra?“ = Do you vote for him?”

Please click to: “OK” that means = Yes I accept  // “Mégsem” = Not yet

Thank you so much!

Campaign Group for Pumukli


1558 people signed the following petition (in English) since November 02, 2011:


Defend Social Worker Norbert Ferencz


Norbert Ferencz is a social worker in Hungary. He has been dragged before the courts for defending rough sleepers, the homeless and the poor. For speaking out against a new law to criminalise rough sleepers he has been charged with 'incitement' and is facing a three year prison sentence. As a social worker, Norbert was following the International Federation of Social Work's definition of social work as an activist occupation that confronts social injustices. The Hungarian Code of Ethics for social workers also makes it clear that practitioners have a duty and a responsibility to inform the public of the growth of poverty and inequality and the state's responsibility to address these problems.

We demand that the Hungarian authorities drop all charges against Norbert who was merely following Point 11 of the Hungarian Code of Ethics which states that "social workers [should] facilitate change through their activities and professional stance"