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Hungary

Hungary
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Country info

Country information: Hungary (Magyarország) is a landlocked country in Central Europe situated in the Carpathian Basin.

Human Rights 2015: an overview by Amnesty International.

HIV/AIDS rates: A cumulative total of 2 115 HIV cases, 656 AIDS cases by the end of 2011 according to WHO.

HIV prevalence among sex workers: 0%.

Legal situation around sex work: Sex work is legal.

Sex work in Hungary has been legal and has been regulated since 1999 under Act LXXV. Sex work is allowed as long as sex workers comply with the criteria set forth within the law. However, these criteria are often vague, overly broad and arbitrarily enforced by police representatives and judges.

The criterea are as follows:

  • street sex is permitted in so-called „tolerance zones”:
    • these zones need to be identified in each municipality, but in practice the authorities are reluctant ot identify such zones;
    • soliciting, offering and advertising sexual services in protected zones are also prohibited, which may lead to fines and when unpaid this may lead toa detention.
  • sex workers must possess entrepreneurial permits;
  • sex workers mustregularly pay taxes;
  • sex workers must attend obligatory health checks every three months to get a health certificate.

Any person who violates these restrictions on sexual services commits an administrative offense and shall be punished by confinement or fine. The law determines that for an unpaid 5.000 HUF fine (approximately 15 EUR) the sentence of one day imprisonment can be received.

Since 2012 a new law on misdemeanors affects sex workers. Since then, police officers are allowed to fine sex workers on the spot for being non-compliant with the often vague regulations surrounding sex work (i.e. for offering their sevices in ill-defined or undefined protected zones).

Sex workers are frequently charged with offences they did not commit, such as littering or violating pedestrian or traffic regulations.

The Criminal Code punishes the following:

  • renting a buiding / place for another person to engage in prostitution;
  • maintaining or operating a brothel, or providing financial means for the operation of a brothel;
  • engagement of the underaged;
  • soliciting;
  • living on earnings from prostitution;
  • pandering.

Buying sexual services is not prohibited.

See more detailed information on legal situation around sex work in Hungary >>HERE in English and >> HERE in Hungarian.

Services for sex workers: Legal, health, social services.

Sex workers’ movement: SZEXE unites sex worker activists.

Latest news

Hungary
By ekaterina on Dec 7th, 2017

Every year on 1st of December the world marks World AIDS Day. This year, SWAN together with ICRSE issued a joint statement and SWAN members marked the day with various different events.

Hungary
By ekaterina on Nov 30th, 2017

To mark World AIDS Day 2017, SWAN and ICRSE, two regional networks for sex workers’ rights in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia join individuals, organisations and other networks in uniting in the fight against HIV globally, and remembering those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Together, SWAN and ICRSE are publishing this joint statement to continue to highlight the key issues sex workers face in relation to health and HIV. We invite sex workers and allies in our region to join us in marking #WorldAIDSDay by including these HASHTAGS on social media and help us raise awareness of the importance of sex workers’ rights in the fight to end HIV and ensuring nobody is left behind!

Hungary
By ekaterina on Jun 2nd, 2017

Today, on 2nd of June 2017, we mark The International Sex Workers’ Day. On this day in 1975 French sex workers occupied the Saint-Nizier church in Lyon for 8 days in a desperate attempt to call attention to their worsened working conditions. On 10th June at 5 o'clock the Church was brutally raided and cleared by police forces.

Hungary
By ekaterina on Apr 20th, 2017

According to the Hungarian legislation on misdemeanor offenses, it is prohibited to arrest someone if this means their underage children will be left without a legal guardian. Despite this regulation, SZEXE, the Hungarian sex worker organisation, reports that there are many sex workers who get drawn into a misdemeanor proceeding and are held in detention for 72 hours before their trial. While they are in detention, their children do not have a legal guardian.

Hungary
By ekaterina on Mar 19th, 2017

SWAN members marked the International Sex Workers’ Rights Day on 3rd of March and the International Women's’ Day on 8 of March.

Hungary
By ekaterina on Dec 14th, 2016

Члены СВАН отметили 1 декабря, всемирный день борьбы со СПИДом, проведением различных мероприятий.

Hungary
By ekaterina on Dec 13th, 2016

On 1st of December, The World AIDS Day, SWAN members celebrated with multiple activities.

Hungary
By ekaterina on Dec 6th, 2016

Between 10 th -12 th November, 2016, in Budapest, Hungary, SWAN in collaboration with IWRAW Asia Pacific hosted a Regional Meeting to discuss follow-ups on Concluding Observations given by the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee) to 10 countries in the CEECA region - Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine.

Hungary
By ekaterina on May 26th, 2016

Watch the video to find out how the police is treating sex workers in Hungary, and the important work SZEXE does to protect the rights of sex workers.

Hungary
By ekaterina on Dec 22nd, 2015

On December 17 SWAN members held different local actions to raise the awareness and commemorate International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

Hungary
By maria on Dec 5th, 2015

On December 1, 2015 a number of SWAN members joined the commemoration of the World AIDS Day.

Hungary
By maria on Oct 15th, 2015

The video snapshot of the 15th anniversary of Association of Hungarian Sex Workers (SZEXE) that took place on September 17, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary.

Hungary
By maria on Sep 18th, 2015

On September 17 The Association of Hungarian Sex Workers (SZEXE) celebrated its 15th anniversary. Balloons, red umbrellas,  birthday cakes and positive atmosphere of the celebration were combined with discussion of the situation of sex workers in Hungary and work SZEXE does for sex workers rights.

Hungary
By maria on Sep 10th, 2015

On the 17th of September, 2015 Hungarian Sex Workers (SZEXE) is celebrating its 15th anniversary! Congratulations!

Hungary
By maria on Jun 29th, 2015

Association of Hungarian Sex Workers SZEXE participated in the Norwegian Pattern Festival "Face to Face NGOs" that took place on June 26-27 in Budapest.

Hungary
By ekaterina on May 19th, 2015

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day has been held annually every third Sunday in May since 1983. On May 17, 2015 around 1200 organizations in 115 countries gathered to commemorate those who died from AIDS and to raise awareness about HIV. The official theme of the campaign worldwide was ‘Supporting the future’ dedicated to calling on the communities around the world to unite and demand a sustainable response to AIDS.

Hungary
By maria on May 14th, 2015

The Association of Hungarian Sex Workers (SZEXE): Controversial regulation, police brutality, hatred of society and forced isolation bring sex workers into difficult situations. Instead of persecuting them, their exploiters should be traced. An answer to the media reaction to the recent murder of a 19 year old Hungarian sex worker.

Hungary
By admin on Jul 4th, 2014

July 1, Budapest - SZEXE, a Hungarian organization that stands to unite and protect interests of sex workers in Hungary, hosted conference “Nothing about Us without Us!”. The aim of the conference was provide safe space for Hungarian sex workers to tell their view and opinion on current situation with sex work in Hungary and the recent move of European Parliament to criminalize clients of sex workers. Besides journalists, politicians, civil society organizations and academia, among the invited were supporters of a campaign Europe without Prostitution and anti-trafficking organizations.

Hungary
By admin on Dec 20th, 2013

Our sex worker colleague's, Bella's message to fellow sex workers in the world. She has been an amazingly active sex worker activist for years.

Hungary
By admin on Jul 1st, 2013

We have recently published an article, detailing participation of SZEXE, Hungarian Association of sex workers, in CEDAW hearings. Even though the fact and the conclusions reached by the Committee did not become the center of attention back home, some of the Hungarian media decided to engage into conversation. Below is an article from the communist newspaper Nepszava reporting on SZEXE and CEDAW shadow report.

 

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