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, says the U.S. Department of State in its annual Trafficking in Persons Report, published in July.
The U.S.Department of State places each country onto one of three tiers based on the extent of their governments’ efforts to comply with the “minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking”. While Tier 1 is the highest ranking, being there does not mean that a country has no human trafficking problem. On the contrary, a Tier 1 ranking indicates that a government has acknowledged the existence of human trafficking, made efforts to address the problem, and complies with the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act's (VTVPA) minimum standards. Each year, governments need to demonstrate appreciable progress in combating trafficking to maintain a Tier 1 ranking.
Hungary has Tier 2 ranking.
According to the Report Hungary is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Vulnerable groups include Hungarians in extreme poverty, Roma, unaccompanied asylum seekers, and homeless men. Women and children, particularly Roma, are subjected to sex trafficking within the country and abroad, mostly within Europe—with particularly high numbers destined for the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Experts at the Department of State emphasize that there are strong indicators that labor trafficking of Hungarian men in Western Europe has intensified in sectors such as agriculture, construction, and manufacturing. Hungarians constituted 18 percent of total victims identified in trafficking investigations by EUROPOL between 2009 and 2013. Trafficking victims from Eastern European countries transit Hungary en route to Western Europe.
“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. Authorities have maintained efforts to investigate trafficking cases and increased funds to NGOs that could shelter victims. Data collection on trafficking remained problematic and the number of reported prosecutions and convictions decreased from the previous year. Shortcomings in security and services at state care institutes for children remained widespread, resulting in high vulnerability of children under state protection during or after their time in these facilities. Victim assistance remained weak, and funding for anti-trafficking efforts remained inadequate.”
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HUNGARY
1. Increase funding and provisions for specialized victim services and provide consistent funding to NGOs to offer victim care
2. Address the vulnerability of children residing in state-run child institutions and individuals who leave these institutions
3. Bring the anti-trafficking laws in line with international laws
4. Increase proactive identification of and assistance for child victims exploited within Hungary.
5. Enhance the collection and reporting of reliable law enforcement and victim protection data.
6. Increase victim-centered training of law enforcement, prosecutors, and social workers.