Last Updated: Monday, 22 September 2014, 21:11 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Hungary

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 3 June 2005
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Hungary, 3 June 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d84828.html [accessed 23 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Hungary (Tier 2)

Hungary is a transit, source, and destination country, primarily for women and girls trafficked from Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, and the Balkans to Europe and North America for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Hungarian victims trafficked to New Zealand and Canada reportedly increased in 2004. Traffickers often target adult female orphans recently released from State institutions, rural young women, and, to a lesser extent, ethnic Roma women. Internal trafficking occurs from areas of high unemployment in eastern Hungary to western Hungary. According to NGOs and media, Hungary may have thousands of women coerced by traffickers into sexual exploitation as a part of a large illegal commercial sex industry.

The Government of Hungary does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Hungarian Government continued to improve its anti-trafficking policies and law enforcement in 2004, establishing an effective inter-ministerial, anti-trafficking working group as well as an International Trafficking Unit under the National Police. In early 2005, Hungary opened a shelter for trafficking victims. However, the government provided few funds for victim protection and trafficking prevention campaigns, and authorities continued to detain, jail, or deport trafficking victims who were often prosecuted as prostitutes.

Prosecution

The government showed progress in its law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Trafficking is criminalized in Hungary with sufficiently severe penalties. In 2004, Hungarian courts initiated 21 trafficking prosecutions and convicted 38 traffickers pursuant to prosecutions initiated in previous years. The government did not report on sentences imposed in 2004. Hungarian law enforcement specialists developed specialized training for police on trafficking investigations and victims' needs. In 2004, authorities identified and arrested a Hungarian police officer involved in an international trafficking ring. The Hungarian International Trafficking Unit, established in July 2004, assisted several international trafficking investigations with law enforcement agencies from Denmark, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Germany, and Austria. Hungarian authorities arrested and extradited four Romanian nationals involved in trafficking in 2004.

Protection

The Government of Hungary did not provide adequate resources to assist trafficking victims over the last year; however, in early 2005, it donated the use of a facility to establish a trafficking shelter and prostitute rehabilitation center. Police have already referred three potential victims to the shelter. Victims who cooperate with police and prosecutors are entitled to assistance such as temporary residency status and shelter, although in 2004 the government did not track how many trafficking victims received this status. Hungarian authorities frequently continued to detain, jail, or deport trafficking victims in 2004; victims were often prosecuted as prostitutes. The Victim Protection Office of the Ministry of Interior, which had 51 offices throughout Hungary to assist victims of crimes, assisted 18 trafficking victims during the last two years with limited financial support and one or two days of housing. In February 2005, the Ministry of Interior organized a seminar on crime victim protection for government officials; the seminar covered protection for trafficking victims. Hungarian consular officials continued to receive training on how to identify and assist trafficking victims.

Prevention

In 2004, the government established an anti-trafficking working group. Its work raised the level of trafficking awareness throughout the government and improved coordination of Hungary's anti-trafficking efforts. While the government conducted no independent anti-trafficking information campaigns, it continued to sponsor trafficking awareness programs for secondary school students. Universities offered anti-trafficking programs; in 2004, these programs reached approximately 200 students studying teaching and social work. At the Hungarian Ministry of Interior's Crime Prevention Academy, the government trained officials from trafficking source countries in counter-trafficking techniques.

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