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Hungary: Enforcement of Article 175/B on trafficking of human beings of the Penal Code and outcomes of trials based on this article; reports of differences in outcomes when the cases involve Roma accused or plaintiffs (1999-May 2002)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 6 May 2002
Citation / Document Symbol HUN38994.E
Reference 5
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Hungary: Enforcement of Article 175/B on trafficking of human beings of the Penal Code and outcomes of trials based on this article; reports of differences in outcomes when the cases involve Roma accused or plaintiffs (1999-May 2002), 6 May 2002, HUN38994.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be3e1c.html [accessed 13 July 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.

According to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, a Vienna-based "academic human rights research and service institution" (LBIHR July 2000), two cases based on Article 175/B which came into force in March 1999 were recorded in the criminal statistics system for the March-December 1999 period (2000, 8; 2000, 27). No reports of the decisions rendered in these cases could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

No reports of outcomes of trials based on Article 175/B nor of differences in outcomes when the cases involve Roma accused or plaintiffs could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

In its 2002 World Report, Human Rights Watch describes the response of the Hungarian state to human trafficking as "poor" and claimed that anti-trafficking laws were unevenly enforced.

According to Country Reports 2001, the lack of legislation affording protection to victims of human trafficking compounds the problem of the prosecution of human traffickers (4 Mar. 2002). The US Department of State's Trafficking in Persons Report notes the government's "significant efforts" to fight human trafficking in spite of limited resources and widespread corruption at the local level (July 2001). In eastern Hungary, although local police forces know the identity of human traffickers, they are "reluctant" to conduct investigations because it would expose them to reprisals from traffickers, who are known to be better financed and better equipped than the police (Country Reports 2001 4 March 2002).

In late 2001, 13 cases of human trafficking, which had been brought to trial in 2000, were still underway (ibid.). At a press conference where crime statistics for 2001 were presented, Peter Orban, the national police commander, indicated that "more than 10,000 procedures were launched into cases of human smuggling ... " (Magyar Hirlap 19 Feb. 2002). Commander Orban noted that this number was a 100 per cent increase over 2000 (Magyar Hirlap 19 Feb. 2002). In a 15 November 2001 dispatch, Hungarian Radio indicated that the border guard agency had initiated approximately 600 criminal proceedings against people smugglers of different citizenships in 2001. The border guard authorities initiated less than 500 criminal proceedings against people smugglers in 2000 (ibid.), although 569 individuals were arrested for human smuggling (Country Reports 2000 23 Feb. 2001). For 1999, Country Reports 2000 refers to 348 arrested human smugglers, including both individuals who "assist in the illegal migration of others" and people traffickers (ibid.). No indication that human trafficking is equivalent to human smuggling could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

There are several reports of citizens of Hungary or of other countries who were formally accused of people smuggling (Duna TV 18 Nov. 2001; Nepszabadsag 12 Oct. 2001; CTK 19 May 2001; AP 12 Nov. 1999; The Budapest Sun 1 July 1999; Roma Rights 1999). No information on the outcome of these cases could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Associated Press (AP). 12 November 1999. "Chinese Illegal Aliens Caught." (LEXIS)

The Budapest Sun. 1 July 1999. "Just 10% Are Given Asylum." [Accessed 1 May 2002]

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001. 4 March 2002. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 2 May 2002]

_____ 2000. 23 February 2001. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 2 May 2002]

CTK. 19 May 2001. "Group of Czechs Being Detained in Hungary." (Financial Times Information 2001/LEXIS)

Duna TV [Budapest, in Hungarian]. 18 November 2001. "Hungarian Border Guards Catch Refugees Trying to Flee the West." (BBC Monitoring 19 Nov. 2001/LEXIS)

Human Rights Watch. 2002. World Report 2002. [Accessed 2 May 2002]

Hungarian Helsinki Committee [Budapest]. 2000. Report on the Status of Women in Hungary. [Accessed 2 May 2002]

Hungarian Radio [Budapest, in Hungarian]. 15 November 2001. "Hungary: New Deportation Law, No More Afghans Since US Action in Afghanistan." (BBC Monitoring 15 Nov. 2001/LEXIS).

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (LBIHR) [Vienna]. July 2000. BIM – Information Sheet. [Accessed 2 May 2002]

_____. 2000. Combat of Trafficking in Women for the Purpose of Forced Prostitution. Hungary. Country Report. [Accessed 2 May 2002]

Magyar Hirlap [Budapest, in Hungarian]. 19 February 2002. "Number of Corrupt Hungarian Officials Trebled, Police Statistics Show." (FBIS-EEU-2002-0220 19 Feb. 2002/WNC)

Nepszabadsag [Budapest, in Hungarian]. 12 October 2001. "Hungarian Border Guard Tightens Check of Middle Easterners Entering Country." (FBIS-EEU-2001-1012 12 Oct. 2001/WNC)

Roma Rights [Budapest]. 1999. No. 4. Gabor Bernath and Vera Messing. "Seen From Afar: Roma in the Hungarian Media." [Accessed on 2 May 2002].

United States Department of State [Washington, DC]. Trafficking in Persons Report. July 2001. [Accessed 1 May 2002]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases

LEXIS/NEXIS

Internet sites including:

Amnesty International

Anti-Slavery International [London, UK]

The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy

European Commission

European Forum for Migration Studies (EFMS) [Bamberg, Germany]

European Research Center on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER) [Utrecht

The Netherlands]

Freedom House

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Migration News [Davis, Calif.]

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) [Prague]

United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) [Vienna]

Victims of Trafficking [Paris]

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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