Together Against Trafficking in Human Beings




Hungary is one of the major source countries within the European Union. It is primarily a country of origin and transit for women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation, and a source country for men and women trafficked for labour exploitation. The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) has been listing Hungary – besides Bulgaria, Romania and Nigeria – among the four most important source countries in view of sexual exploitation, for the last few years. Arising from its geographical situation Hungary is a transit country of illegal migration, it lays in the crossroad of east-western and south-eastern migration. Primary destination countries for sexual exploitation are the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, and Germany but the United Kingdom is also becoming a significant country of destination.

In the light of experience and information gained through international cooperation in the policy field of anti-trafficking over recent years, Hungarian persons becoming victims abroad are primarily from Borsod–Abaúj–Zemplén County, (North-eastern part of Hungary) Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County (North-Eastern part of Hungary) and Baranya County (South-western part of Hungary) but Tolna County (South-western part of Hungary) and Békés County (South-eastern part of Hungary) are also significant source regions. Victimization in Hungary has several root causes, such as poverty, high unemployment, and inequality in the labour market.

As far as vulnerability to trafficking is concerned, trends in this regard remained largely unchanged compared to previous years. A more recent phenomenon with the wide availability of smart phones and access to the internet is that minor girls ran away with boyfriends they met online. In some cases, they even crossed the country’s borders, and became involved in prostitution, sometimes through their online acquaintances.

High-risk groups for trafficking include undereducated young adults residing in poor conditions or who had lived in state-provided welfare homes or juvenile correctional facilities previously. Most of the victims are single younger women. They have very few employment or higher education options, and often have very weak or non-existent family support networks. In most cases the families sell their children to the perpetrators. Regarding the suspected traffickers it can be established that they have low educational background, they are repeat offenders or already have criminal records, or tend to live solely from criminal activities. Data of the Chance for Families 2005 Foundation shows that many of the victims were forced into prostitution from a young age, and several of them are mentally challenged to a degree.

Traffickers usually recruit victims from their family or living environment, home community, they know the victims’ personal and financial background and whether they are in a vulnerable position or can be influenced. Traffickers take advantage of the poor financial status of potential victims and incite them to prostitution. After a certain time traffickers might sell “employed” women to other traffickers.



All forms of trafficking in human beings are prohibited in Hungary. The specific offence of trafficking in persons has existed since 1998, under crimes against personal freedom and human dignity.

Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA has been published on 5 April 2011, its transposition deadline was 6 April 2013. Hungary has accomplished its implementation obligations deriving from the Directive.

The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings was signed by Hungary on 10 October 2007 and ratified by Act XVIII of 2013 on 4 April 2013, which entered into force on 1 August 2013.

Act C of 2012 on the Criminal Code entered into force on 1 July 2013. The New Criminal Code incorporates the criminal offence of trafficking in human beings which was harmonized with the Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA and with the legal provisions of the Palermo Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially woman and children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

The Hungarian Government passed on 27 September 2012 the amendment of Act CXXXV of 2005 on Crime Victim Support and State Compensation. It introduced the concept of shelters as victim support service and authorized the Government to develop detailed regulation for the identification of human trafficking victims. The Act specifies the right to legal, social, financial and psychological assistance for victims of human trafficking. Article 9/A and Article 43(3) transposed sections 5 and 6 of the Council Directive 2004/81/EC (on the residence permit issued to third-country nationals who are victims of trafficking in human beings or who have been the subject of an action to facilitate illegal immigration, who cooperate with the competent authorities).

Government Regulation No 354/2012 of 13 December 2012 on the identification system of victims of trafficking in human beings entered into force on 1 January 2013. The Regulation contains a non-exhaustive list of authorities taking part in the identification, explicitly naming the following: health service provider, health state administration body, personal care provider, public educational service provider, police, labor authority, consulate official, border police authority, the asylum authority, the victim support service, and following a recent amendment, legal aid services, and probation services. The regulation introduced the concept of voluntarily contributing bodies, meaning legal entities that are not sustained by the state or municipality, as well as organizations without legal entity that under their operation obtain knowledge on a person – holding a permit of free movement and residence – who is presumably a victim of human trafficking. The National Crisis Telephone Information Service provides information for the victims on the opportunities of being accommodated in safe shelters.

Act CXXXV of 2005.pdf

Government Decree No 354_2012.pdf

Act C of 2012.pdf

Coordination of anti-trafficking actions at a national level

The framework for combating human trafficking was laid down by the Government Resolution 1018/2008 on the National Strategy against trafficking in human beings. The first strategy established a National Coordination Mechanism and appointed a national coordinator. The National Coordinator is the Deputy State Secretary for EU and International Relations of the Ministry of Interior. The Coordinator’s main role is to enhance Hungary’s counter trafficking efforts and to facilitate interaction between different state and non-state organizations in relation to the fight against human trafficking. The National Coordinator represents Hungary’s anti human trafficking response both at a national, at a European and international level.

The Coordinator chairs the meetings of both the National Coordination Mechanism, the main forum of cooperation of the relevant state organizations in Hungary; and since its formation in 2011, the informal NGO Roundtable.

The mission of these forums is increasing the effectiveness of the fight against trafficking in human beings, strengthening the cooperation and enhancing dialogue between the national coordinator and the concerned authorities. These working groups contribute to the mapping of areas of cooperation and help to avoid duplications.


The National Strategy against Trafficking in Human Beings for the period 2013–2016 was adopted by the Government on 29 May 2013.

Taking into consideration the complexity and the cross-border nature of the phenomenon, the need for international cooperation, the future vision of the strategy has been defined in accordance with the priorities of the EU strategy: Hungary endeavors to combat against all manifestations of human trafficking as efficiently as allowed by its means at the national level, and as a reliable partner at international level, respecting human rights, free of discrimination and giving special attention to the protection of children.

The strategy has a comprehensive approach towards the issue of trafficking in human beings, and focuses on national action. The strategy identifies five main priorities in the field of human trafficking:

1. The operation of an appropriate and well-running victim identification, referral and protection system

2. Efficient prevention, awareness building and awareness raising

3. The detection and prosecution of perpetrators; the protection of the rights and interests of plaintiffs and victims

4. Enhancing coordination with the relevant government, semi-governmental and civil organizations involved

5. Mapping opportunities for safe return and reintegration at the government level; designing supportive action

Due to certain delays in the financial planning, the implementation period of the Strategy was extended until the completion of all of its activities.


Efforts to prevent human trafficking in Hungary have included inter alia awareness raising campaigns as well as training for officials:


Trainings are continuously organized for police officers, investigators, prosecutors, judges, victim support assistants, consuls in the fields of victim identification, assistance, legislative background of human trafficking.

Awareness raising

Awareness raising campaigns and programs are regularly held in Hungary, the following are continuously organized:

With the support of the Ministry of Human Capacities, a prevention program targeting children between the ages of 14 and 18 was launched in 2012; and it reached more than 3500 students until 2015. Activities of the project included the continuation of the prevention program in new places. The total amount of allocation is HUF 6.2 bn, the programs were launched in 2017. Currently, 17 NGOs are implementing a single methodology-based preventive program. The prevention program will contribute to the reduction of the number of potential clients of victims (users of sexual services) in the long run by presenting the fate of the victims of trafficking and their vulnerable lives.

In August 2017 the Ministry of Interior was present at the Sziget Festival for the sixth time with its tent ‘Fight against Human Trafficking’. During this period 1013 – mainly young – persons were reached and provided information directly about human trafficking. Its aim was to make them aware on the phenomenon of human trafficking, domestic violence and provide them information about preventive measures. The Ministry invited the National Police Headquarters, the White Ring Public Benefit Association, the Anonymous Ways Foundation, IOM, the Ministry of Justice, the National Bureau of Investigation and National Crisis Management and Information Telephone Service (OKIT) to take part in the awareness-raising program.

During the course of 2017, brand new EURES publications have been made with renewed content and design. As a result, brand new Safe work abroad flyer and poster and a 10 tips for safe working abroad flyer supports the EURES advisers' preventive activities. Based on the previous experience of the cooperation with National Police Headquarters and with other partners in the frame of National Coordination Mechanism Against Trafficking in Human Beings, in 2018, with the help of external experts, a long-term development process will be initiated to prevent and raise awareness for the potential dangers of labour exploitation, including evaluation sessions, regional professional forums, training development and pilot training. Functioning and activities of the EURES network are financed under the European Social Fund.

The Ministry of Interior launched in 2011 a specific website to support the counter-trafficking efforts in Hungary. The aim of this website is to provide a public platform whereby information in relation to the phenomenon and to the State’s anti-trafficking work can be shared.




Joint investigation teams

The NBI cooperated in three joint investigation teams (Dutch–Hungarian, Belgian–Hungarian and UK–Hungarian) in the reporting period, while preparations for setting up a new joint investigation team with the United Kingdom and Switzerland are ongoing. The majority of JITs established in Hungary were in connection with human trafficking.


Training and capacity building measures

Within the framework of the EU’s Internal Security Fund ISF, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Budapest has successfully implemented a project entitled "Swiss-Hungarian Transnational Cooperation on the Referral of Victims of Trafficking" since its official launch in April 2017. Three study visits have been organized (one to Switzerland and two to Hungary) in participation with the most relevant Swiss and Hungarian counter-trafficking actors. The aim of the project was to create a reliable network of stakeholders and to establish the cornerstones of the Swiss-Hungarian transnational referral mechanism. Considering that Hungary is one of the main countries of origin of victims of human trafficking identified in Switzerland, the long-term result of the project will be the enhanced cooperation with concomitant increase in the number of case referrals.


The United States State Department’s 2017 TIP Report on Hungary

GRETA’s First Round Evaluation of Hungary





National Crisis Management and Information Telephone Service

Országos Kríziskezelő és Információs Telefonszolgálat (OKIT)

Telephone: +36 80 20 55 20



OKIT’s primary goal is to provide assistance to the victims of domestic violence, child abuse, prostitution and trafficking and, if necessary, arrange for their secure accommodation. The Telephone Service aims to provide non-stop 24 hour permanent access to every person being in trouble, facing danger and being in need of immediate assistance throughout the country as well as in abroad.


Appointed Anti-trafficking Coordinator:

Mr. Mátyás HEGYALJAI Dr.,

Ministry of Interior, Deputy State Secretary for EU and International Relations

Telephone: +36 (1) 441-1957 (Secretariat)

E-mail: (Secretariat)

Fax: +36 (1) 441-1959 (Secretariat)

Anti-trafficking Contact point:

Mr. Áron TÉSI,

Ministry of Interior, Department of European Cooperation


Telephone: +36 (1) 441-1079


Anti-trafficking Contact point:


Ministry of Interior, Department of European Cooperation


Telephone: +36 (1) 999-4351


The National Coordinator, established in 2008, acts as equivalent mechanism to a National Rapporteur in Hungary. The National Coordinator is the Deputy State Secretary for EU and International Relations in the Ministry of Interior. His main role is to enhance Hungary’s counter trafficking efforts and to facilitate interaction between different State and non-State organisations in relation to the fight against human trafficking. He represents Hungary’s anti human trafficking response both at a national, at a European and at international level. The national coordinator chairs the meeting of the NCM which is the main forum of cooperation of the relevant organisations in Hungary. The work of the NCM has been complemented by the NGO Roundtable since December 2011 and is also chaired by the National Coordinator.


Hungarian National Police Headquarters (Országos Rendőr-főkapitányság: ORFK)

1139 Budapest, Teve u. 4-6.

Telephone: +36 80/201-303; (1) 443 5500


The Hungarian National Police Headquarters detects and investigates human trafficking cases that have a domestic nature and have no international component. It is implementing and participating in several anti-trafficking projects that focus on awareness-raising, training and international cooperation.

National Bureau of Investigation (Nemzeti Nyomozó Iroda: NNI), Trafficking in Human Beings Unit

1062 Budapest, Aradi u. 21-23.

Telephone: +36 1 443-5500; +36 80/201-303


The Bureau detects and investigates trafficking cases that have an international component and in exceptional cases, internal trafficking issues of a large scale or complex nature.


Chance for Families 2005 Foundation


Hungarian Baptist Aid

P.O.Box 241, Budapest H-1391

Telephone: +36 1 466-5978



Child Crisis Management Foundation

1364 Budapest, Pf. 125

Telephone: + 36 1 354-1029



White Ring Public Benefit Association

1055 Budapest, Szt. István krt. 1.

Telephone: +36 (1) 312–2287

Fax: +36 (1) 472–1162



Anonymous Ways Foundation (Névtelen Utak Alapítvány)

Postal address: 1367 Budapest Pf: 33.

Telephone: +36 70 664-9497



Helping Hand (Segítő Kéz) 2003 Social Association

4400 Nyíregyháza, Tűzoltó út 4.

Telephone: +36 30 958-1264

Fax: +36 42 596 357


The Social Association contributes to prevention and provides consulting services to victims.

Anthropolis Association (Anthropolis Egyesület)

1146 Budapest, Thököly út 58-60. 2nd floor nr. 216-217.

Telephone: +36 (1) 7979-634; +36 (1) 7979-635

E-mail address:

INDIT Közalapítvány

7623 Pécs, Szendrey Júlia u. 6.
Telephone: +36 (72) 315-083
Fax: +36 (72) 332-600
E-mail address:


Halfway Foundation

1089 Budapest, Orczy út 27.



International Organisation for Migration

1055 Budapest, Falk Miksa u. 8.

Telephone: +36 (1) 472-2500

Fax: +36 (1) 374 - 0532



UNHCR Hungary/ UNHCR Regional Representative for Central Europe

1027 Budapest, Felvinci út 27.

Telephone: +36 (1) 336-3060

E-mail address: