Hungary: Children's Rights References in the Universal Periodic Review

A compilation of extracts featuring child-rights issues from the reports submitted to the second Universal Periodic Review. There are extracts from the 'National Report', the 'Compilation of UN Information' and the 'Summary of Stakeholder's Information'. Also included is the final report and the list of accepted and rejected recommendations.

Hungary - Twenty Fifth Session - 2016
4 May 2016 - 14:30 - 18:00


National Report

II. New normative and institutional framework since the previous review 

The Fundamental Law    

4. Legislation and policy measures regarding the comprehensive criminal law reform, child-friendly justice, crime prevention, victim protection, combat against domestic violence, protection of minorities, employment, freedom of information, asylum seekers, refugees, migrants, equal opportunities and people with disabilities, trafficking in human beings, preventing early school leaving can be found in point 2 of the Annex. 

B. Ratifications, international cooperation in the field of human rights    

14. Hungary submitted on time its periodical reports to the CRPD (Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities), CEDAW (Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) and CRC (Committee on the Rights of the Child) as well as its Twenty Year Review on the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action. The Government, within its capacities, strives to eradicate any further backlog and to respond to the questionnaires of HRC mandate holders (94.36). 

E. Families

21. The data of the 2011 census show that from the 2,177 million families in Hungary 1,241 million are with children. The financial situation of these families has been improved due to the fact that from 2010 until 2016 a total of 1100 billion HUF extra expenditure would have been spent on family support.

22. In order to enhance the social security of families and ease the financial burden of bringing up children, the family supporting system – in harmony with the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child – provides families with children a broad scope of benefits. From 2014 child care benefits are broadened in parallel with the expansion of the family tax allowance. Within the framework of the programme against child poverty, the so-called summertime social child catering aims to provide at least one hot meal per day during the summer vacation for children with disadvantages or multiple disadvantages. The amount of the catering for children during summer has risen from 2,64 Billion HUF to 3 Billion from 2014 to 2015. In the program those local government can attend that can implement the catering once per day for children. Children in need attending nursery school, kindergarten and school are entitled for benefits in kind: free or supported catering in these institutions as well as free schoolbooks. In 2015 the total amount of the allowance from the central budgetary for free and supported catering in nursery school, kindergarten and school as well as social summer holiday food is 67 billion HUF (95.22).

23. In order to advance the reconciliation of work and family life the Government introduced in 2014 the child-care fee extra package of measures to help young childbearing women. In order to help mothers returning to the labour market the number of day-care places available for children under the age of 3 has risen by 20% since 2011. Several programmes, projects have been launched in order to eliminate deep-rooted stereotypes and shape  attitudes,  including  in  the  area  of  ‘women  and  science’  (94.42).

24. In addition to increased housing support, from 2013 the reductions of utility costs by 35% since 2013 help those living in poverty to raise their children. Measures aimed to save the housing of those with foreign currency mortgages also support this goal. Living allowance (instead of general social assistance) is paid to those (mostly living in deep poverty) involved in training programmes. The amount of the cash benefit provided to the carers of relatives in need of intensive nursing has been increased by 15%. The fee further increases depending on the severity of the person in need of care. 13% of the carers who receive nursing fee in an increased amount take care of children (mostly with disabilities). The Government launched the system of Solid Start Children Centres to guarantee the best possible chance for children in early childhood (age of 0–3) living in extreme poverty, helping to ensure their healthy physical, intellectual, emotional and moral development. By the end of 2015, 112 Solid Start Children Centres are operating in total. 

G. Children

32. According to the last census (2011) in Hungary there are 2 million persons under 19 years old, 980.000 girls and 1.020.000 boys. Since 2005 corporal punishment in itself is banned (section 208 of the Criminal Code) in all settings including household, that is, the child shall not be subject to or threatened with corporal or emotional punishment, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Public shaming is also prohibited. Under the Public Education Act protection has to be provided against physical and mental violence against children. Under the Family Act, the child shall be entitled to respect of his or her human dignity and to protection against abuse – physical, sexual or psychological violence –, and neglect. The regulations become more stringent during the implementation of the 2013-2023 National Crime Prevention Strategy (94.76, 94.78, 94.79).

33. An amendment to the new Criminal Code in 2014 extended the statute of limitations regarding certain crimes against children until after the victim has reached the legal age in order to allow time for the victim to be able to realise that a crime has been committed against her/him. Also, regarding certain sexual crimes, there is no statute of limitation if it was committed against a child. A child victim has the statutory right to use victim support services and mitigation of damages by the State. Only persons with clean criminal record can be employed to positions dealing with children. The criminal record contains specific information on any child related crime including professional ban/disqualification. (94.56).

34. The Office of the Commissioner for Educational Rights contributes to the promotion of rights concerning education of children, students, teachers, parents. Any child, parent, educator, researcher, teacher or their associations may file a petition in individual cases, if in their judgement their guaranteed rights have been infringed or there is a direct threat of such infringement. The Centre for Pedagogical Professional Services is in the process of developing the nationwide network of professional advisers for teachers which includes school conflict resolution experts. Until the system is fully functional anyone involved in a possible school conflict can turn to the mediator experts of the Centre. Such mediators are also providing training courses for teachers. Developments are in progress regarding external school evaluation, operation of early warning system for the prevention of drop- out.

35. The  Government  launched  “The  Internet  Does  Not  Forget”  interactive  programme  in   2014 to promote responsible internet use for children, including the protection of personal data   and   preventing   cyber   bullying.   The   parallel   “Our   Children   on   the   Web”   programme   informs parents and teachers about the dangers of the Internet. In order to effectively implement regulations regarding child protection the National Media and Info- communications   Authority   (NMIA)   established   the   “Child   protection   Internet   roundtable”   in 2014 which issues statements and recommendations to promote media literacy among youth and to ensure the culture of compliance among all service providers. Internet providers and public libraries should inform their customers on, and provide for free filtering software for the protection of children (94.56).

36. In the juvenile justice system the presence of defence counsel is mandatory. In the event that the accused does not have an authorised lawyer, the investigation authorities, the prosecutor or the court shall designate a lawyer for them. In accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a punishment or measure involving any deprivation of liberty may only be applied against juveniles if the aim of the punishment or measure cannot otherwise be achieved. Life imprisonment may not be applied against a juvenile and high security prison as the most severe degree is not applicable for juveniles. During the implementation of imprisonment, girls are separated from boys, and juveniles are separated from adults in a dedicated law enforcement institution for juveniles (94.77, 94.87).

37. As a result of a new legislative package in 2011 the Child-Friendly Justice Working Group proposed several measures. Among them child hearing rooms have been created at police stations since 2013. Also the system of probation officers for young offenders has been enhanced in 2015 through the innovative preventive mentoring system in cooperation with the judiciary and the child protection system. The Child Friendly Justice Program help children to get to know their rights and responsibilities and make them understand the basic concepts and procedures used in the judicial system (see details on page 4 of the Annex).

38. Through the amendment of 1 January 2014 Child Protection Act the placement of children separated from their families with foster parents is a clear declaration of the child’s   right to be raised in a family. The number of those receiving child protection services were 20.135 on 31 December 2014, 12.832 of whom (63.73%) was placed with foster parents. 

H. Persons with disabilities    

Hungarian Association for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities – which was partly involved in the development procedure – for judges, forensic medical experts, guardianship authorities, professionals working in social and health institutions, as well as for child protection guardians. The system of rehabilitation employment was restructured, which resulted in a significant growth in the number of persons with disabilities in employment. In 2011 the number of persons with disabilities working in a supported way was 42,000 while in 2014 it was 76.000 (94.59, 94.91). 

42. Over recent years significant developments took place – some of them still in progress – which aim to promote the access of children with special educational needs to quality education, as well as the prevention of undue classification as a person with disabilities. Moreover, the entire specialized pedagogical service system, including special educational needs (SEN) diagnostic committee activities, has been reformed in 2013 affecting more than 300 public education institutions (timeframe: 2012–2014, budget 2.3 billion HUF). The reform process takes into account comments by NGOs, as well as the recommendations of the CRPD. Under the new regulations, specialized pedagogical services and the network of travelling special education teachers are to promote the successful advancement of children with special educational needs participating in inclusive education by providing career advising. Currently, more than 69% of the children with disabilities (58.000) participating in the public education system receive education in an inclusive methodological framework. The number of SEN students at secondary vocational level between 2004-2015 increased, in parallel the ratio of those receiving an integrated education (and training) reached 98–99% in vocational schools and in vocational secondary schools (94.97). 

J. Prison conditions, ill-treatment, death penalty, torture    

46. Due to the rising number of female inmates (currently 1300–1400), stronger central coordination is needed to carry out differentiated imprisonment. With the prison reconstruction program it is now possible in Western Hungary to execute punishment in close  vicinity  of  the  inmates’  residence.  Moreover,  the  expansion  of  the  Budapest  Remand   Prison with 100 new places has had a positive effect on the situation of female prisoners (both pre-trial detainees and convicted people). Referring to the Bangkok Rules: a mother- child unit was built in the Kecskemét prison, and there is a maternity unit in the Central Hospital of the Prison Service. Pregnant inmates are transferred to this Hospital four weeks prior to delivery. Due to pregnancy, inmates may request for the interruption or delay of their sentence. It is also possible to receive treatment in civilian hospitals, under proper supervision and by taking the necessary safety measures. In addition, solitary confinement cannot be carried out in case of pregnant women or women with infants. HIV/AIDS tests are carried out on voluntary basis and body searches are made by the representatives of the same gender. The Prison Service puts a special emphasis on visits and family relations. Special free-time activities (household skills, aerobic, etc.) and work activities (e.g. sewing) are provided for female inmates. Juvenile female inmates are separated from adults (94.65). 

EU and national Roma integration

52. The EU is home to some 10 million Roma, who are exposed to deep poverty, unemployment, discrimination and segregation. That is why the adoption of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to year 2020 was one of the priority areas for the Hungarian EU Presidency in 2011. The Framework requested member states to adopt National Integration Strategies. Hungary sent its National Social Inclusion Strategy as the first one to the European Commission. The aim of the Strategy and its Action Plan is to improve the social and living conditions of people living in extreme poverty. The two special target groups are the Roma and children. Both documents deal with child well-being, education, employment, health, housing as well as inclusion, awareness-raising and fight against discrimination. In 2014 80.000 Roma participated in the employment and education programs.

53. The 2nd Action Plan (2015–2017) takes further steps for broad social inclusion in particular in the labour market. The social land program, which is unique in European social policy, has been remodelled and expanded. The employability of disadvantaged people, including Roma, is enhanced by the employment of Roma women combined with training. As a new tool, subsistence support reduces the drop-out rate. Another priority area is to improve the social and living conditions of people living in extreme poverty. The “Growing   Opportunity”   programme   promotes   integrated   social   development   and   provides   qualification and supported employment opportunities to Roma women in child care and social services (94.40, 94.48, 94.49, 94.102). 

Education (94.48, 94.50, 94.57, 94.93, 94.94, 94.95, 94.96, 94.106, 94.108, 94.110)

58. Act on Public Education and Act on Equal Treatment explicitly prohibit segregation; all discriminative measures taken by institutions (schools) or their maintainers are null and void. Since 2013, anti-discriminative measures must be integrated into Educational Development Plans of every school area. Objectives and measures of equality in public education and inclusion were involved into the 2014 National Strategy on Public Education. The   possibility   of   organizing   “corrective   classes”   for   children   with   learning   difficulties,   operated formerly, ceased to exist. Students may not be segregated owing to their adaptation or any learning or behavioural difficulties; compulsory education may be fulfilled only in mainstream education. Alleged cases of segregation are examined by the Government Offices and if necessary by the courts.

59. In 2013 the state took over the maintenance of all public schools from municipalities in order to ensure coherent public education. The 2012 regulation on the admission districts of primary schools aims to prevent schools from segregating students. Each year the school district boundaries are supervised by government offices based upon data on the number of disadvantaged students in order to prevent segregation. Important test-level developments serve the access to quality education of children with special educational needs and the prevention of unreasonable classification as child with intellectual/learning disability (i.e. unreasonable classification and segregation of multiple disadvantaged (including Roma) children). Due to continuous developments, ratio of students who classified with mild intellectual disability decreased from 2% (2005/2006 school year) to 1.4% (2015/2016). Based on a 2015 research on the degree of the separation of socially disadvantaged students 

in primary schools, desegregation measures will be introduced in 2016 in the framework of the 2014-2020 Human Resources Development Operative Programme. Thanks to the Strategy of preventing early school leaving, which promotes access to inclusive, quality mainstream education for all, the ratio of early school leavers decreased in 2014.

60. The   ‘On   the   Road’   and   other   programs   (Annex,   point   8)   aim   Roma   students   with   multiple disadvantages, reducing drop-out rates and re-integrating those who already dropped-out. To improve performance, in particular of children with disadvantaged socio- economic backgrounds, as of September 2015 participation in early childhood education became compulsory from the age of 3.

61. The Anti-segregation Roundtable – involving government and civil stakeholders – was established in 2013 to identify common proposals for desegregation and to eliminate spontaneous and deliberate segregation. The Roundtable also examines methods for the recognition, assessment and prevention of educational segregation.

62. Police provide scholarships (and subsequently job opportunities) for Roma high school and university students in law enforcement education institutions (94.109). 

68. The  Government  issued  a  “zero  tolerance  policy”  towards  anti-Semitism and anti- Roma attitudes. Such incidents have been promptly followed-up by high-level official condemnations on the part of the Hungarian government and by legislative changes. The new Criminal Code punishes the public denial of Crimes of National Socialist or Communist Regimes (including the Holocaust) with up to 3 years of imprisonment. The National Curriculum for compulsory education contains information on the Holocaust and about the common Jewish-Hungarian history. The Holocaust Memorial Day (16 April) was included among the memorial days in secondary schools. The Government supports the Jewish cultural renaissance in Hungary and organises Holocaust remembrance commemorations: Raoul Wallenberg Year 2012, Holocaust Memorial Year 2014, Hungarian Presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2015 (94.29, 94.47, 94.53, 94.54, 94.55). 

L. Protection of minorities

General situation 

Slovenian minority

73. According to the last census (2011) 1723 person regarded Slovenian language as her/his mother tongue and 2385 considered her/himself Slovenian. The Slovenian language education is provided in Hungary from kindergarten to university, schools have an agreement with the Hungarian Government on financing their operation (94.104). The central budgetary support of the Slovenian language radio increased in from 17M HUF (2011) to 33M by 2015 (94.105). The Hungarian-Slovene Minority Joint Committee held its last (15th) session in 2015. Its recommendations are approved by Governmental decree after each session to ensure implementation by relevant ministries (95.24). More details can be found in the Annex (point 9).

M. Migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers

74. The basic guarantee of the respect of the human rights of foreigners regardless of their nationality is enshrined in the Fundamental Law. Hungary provides separate, autonomous legal status for stateless persons, for beneficiaries of international protection, for victims of trafficking and for unaccompanied minors (who are not beneficiaries of international protection). Respect for human rights is ensured at all stages of the asylum and the aliens policing procedure. Special rules are applied for persons with special needs: unaccompanied minors are placed within the framework of the professional child protection system serving the paramount principle of the best interests of the child, and promoting action against ill-treatment and neglect (95.28). 

83. The primary aim of the asylum detention is to ensure the presence of the asylum- seeker in the asylum procedure if other measures (designated place of residence, asylum bail, regular reporting before the refugee authority) are unsuccessful. The asylum authority can order asylum detention for a maximum of 72 hours which can only be extended by the court for several times, by a maximum of sixty days for altogether of 6 months. Families with children may only be detained exceptionally and for a maximum period of 30 days, if the detention is in the best interest of the child. Asylum-seekers are entitled to move freely inside the premises of the guarded closed reception centre maintained by the Office of the Immigration and Nationality. The ordering of the asylum detention is not typical, but rather exceptional in Hungary. In 2015 only 1.5 % of asylum-seekers were detained (2014: 4849, 2015: less than half). 

N. Human trafficking

85. State-funded temporary shelters provide safe accommodation, complex services and assistance for victims of trafficking in human beings. Services include accommodation, full supply according to individual needs (meeting the physical needs, meals, clothing, bed linen, medicines), assistance in administrative issues, availability of professionals, hygiene care. NGOs are also providing safe accommodation and rehabilitation programmes for victims. In 2014 the Government increased financial support which enabled the establishment of a new Transitory Shelter in 2015. The Government also operates 49 so- called   “safe   houses”   for   children   (Sure   Start   Children’s   Home)   around   the   country   and   additional 66 homes were set up from EU funding. (94.68, 94.70, 94.71, 94.72). 

86. The Government adopted the 2013-2016 National Strategy against Human Trafficking and a Decree (354/2012) about identification of victims of trafficking. The main priorities of the Strategy are mapping opportunities for safe return and reintegration, designing supportive action, establishing transitory (maximum 5 years) apartments for those leaving the shelters and helping social reintegration, in particular for Roma victims. In order to prevent victimization efficient prevention and awareness-raising programs continue to be organized for the public and members of the authorities in 2016 as well. Prevention for young people is of utmost importance as the level of knowledge is very shallow on these issues and thus they are highly endangered. Such programs involve the staff of the shelters that have first-hand experience. The expansion of the initial pilot program targeting the youth between the age of 14 and 18, is under process. The previous Strategy (2008–2012) established the National Coordination Mechanism (NCM) to enhance information-exchange on the activities of the parties, and the mapping of potential fields of cooperation. Since 2011 an informal NGO Roundtable assists the NCM (94.72). 


Compilation of UN Information 

I. Background and framework

A. Scope of international obligations

1. International human rights treaties 

1. In 2014, the Committee of the Rights of the Child recommended that Hungary ratify OP-CRC-IC, OP-CESCR, ICRMW and ICPPED. 

C. Institutional and human rights infrastructure and policy measures

6. The Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended in 2014 that Hungary take measures to comply with the requirements of the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles) by ensuring the independence of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, including in the areas of funding, mandate and immunities. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women made similar recommendations.

10. The Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended that Hungary consider establishing an independent ombudsman for children.

C. Cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

12. The Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended that Hungary seek technical cooperation from, among others, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Hungary contributed financially to OHCHR in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.

III. Implementation of international human rights obligations, taking into account applicable international humanitarian law

A. Equality and non-discrimination 

15. The same Committee was deeply concerned that women belonging to ethnic minorities, such as Roma women, were subjected to multiple discrimination and exclusion, in the absence of a comprehensive plan of action aimed at protecting their rights and improving their living conditions. It urged Hungary to include specific components in public policies and budgets to address the needs of women belonging to minorities, including Roma women and women with disabilities, in order to eliminate all forms of discrimination against them. The Committee on the Rights of the Child made a similar recommendation regarding Roma children. 

18. The Committee on the Rights of the Child was concerned about the still-prevalent discriminatory attitude of the public against children in marginalized and disadvantaged situations, and urged Hungary to implement its laws that prohibited discrimination against them.45 The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities made similar recommendations. 

B. Right to life, liberty and security of person    

23. The Committee on the Rights of the Child was concerned that Hungary remained a source and transit country for trafficking in women and girls for sexual exploitation. It recommended that Hungary reduce and prevent trafficking and provide adequate incentives and protection to victims to participate in the process of investigation against traffickers.

24. The same Committee recommended that Hungary provide child victims of sexual exploitation and prostitution with the necessary support, assistance and protection. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women made similar recommendations.

25. The Committee on the Rights of the Child was concerned that there were no mechanisms in place to identify and monitor children at risk of becoming victims to the offences under OP-CRC-SC, and encouraged the State to establish a mechanism to identify and monitor children in those situations.

26. The same Committee regretted that the prohibition on the use of corporal punishment against children was not implemented in the family and schools. It urged Hungary to implement the prohibition in all settings and to ensure that school guards are prohibited from using physical force against children under any circumstance.

29. The Committee on the Rights of the Child was concerned about the lengthy pretrial detention of children and about children being sentenced to deprivation of liberty for petty crimes. It urged Hungary to ensure that detention of children be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible time and abolish the practice of sentencing children to prison terms for petty crimes, in particular by eradicating the practice of converting fines to prison terms. 

C. Administration of justice, including impunity, and the rule of law    

32. The Committee on the Rights of the Child was concerned about the suspension of juvenile courts and about the lowering of the age of criminal responsibility from 14 to 12 years for a number of offences. It urged Hungary to reinstate the juvenile courts with judges who had undergone special training and to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14 years, even for the most serious crimes.

D. Right to privacy, marriage and family life    

37. The same Committee was concerned that children under 16 years could get married upon obtaining authorization from the Court of Guardians. It recommended that Hungary raise the legal age of marriage for women and men to 18 years and institute measures to prevent early marriages. 

G. Right to health    

46. The same Committee was concerned, inter alia, about campaigns supported by the State that stigmatized abortion and the limited access to emergency contraceptives. It urged Hungary to cease all negative interference with women’s sexual and reproductive rights and to provide adequate access to family planning services and affordable contraceptives, including emergency contraception, to all women. The Committee on the Rights of the Child raised similar recommendations regarding adolescent health.

H. Right to education

47. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that Hungary eliminate segregation of Roma girls in the educational system and provide them with equal access to quality education at all levels.

48. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities called upon Hungary to allocate sufficient resources for the development of an inclusive education system for children with disabilities. 

I. Persons with disabilities    

51. The same Committee called upon Hungary to adopt effective and specific measures to ensure equality and prevent multiple forms of discrimination of women and girls with disabilities in its policies, and to mainstream a gender perspective in its disability-related legislation and policies.

J. Minorities

54. The Special Rapporteur on racism urged the Government to, inter alia: take all the necessary measures to reduce the high Roma unemployment rate; increase efforts to eliminate racial discrimination and segregation of Roma in education; and ensure the effective participation of Roma in political and public life and their adequate representation in Parliament and political parties.

 K. Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers    

62. The Committee on the Rights of the Child was concerned at the lack of mechanisms in place to identify at an early stage refugee, asylum-seeking and migrant children. It recommended that the State put in place mechanisms to identify children coming from countries where there are or have been armed conflicts and who may have been involved in hostilities and ensure that the personnel responsible were trained in children’s rights, child protection and interviewing skills.



Stakeholder Information 

I. Information provided by the national human rights institution of the State under review accredited in full compliance with the Paris Principles 

2. Regarding measures to combat discrimination against ethnic minorities and particularly against Roma, CFR highlighted that the members of the Roma community were the most likely to fall victims of human rights violations. It stated that the disadvantageous social situation of Roma was aggravated by discrimination especially in the field of education, health, employment, housing and access to services. CFR stressed that the collection of disaggregated data – among others - by ethnicity would be essential to tackle discrimination.

4. CFR stated there was no strategy against the sexual exploitation of children and child prostitution and children’s homes often lacked adequate solutions when facing prostitution or sexual exploitation cases.

5. Regarding recommendations on bringing the juvenile justice into line with international standards, CFR considered that provisions of the Misdeameanor Act, which enabled the use of detention as a sanction in juvenile’s cases, were not in accordance with the CRC.

2. Right to life, liberty and security of the person    

30. JS9 stated that even though the law stipulated the total ban of corporal punishment, there had been no progress since its coming into effect in 2005 to implement it. JS9 asserted that the child protection system could not effectively prevent and give assistance and protection to children suffering from abuse and neglect. 

3. Administration of justice, including impunity and the rule of law    

39. HHC indicated that the UPR recommendations aimed at bringing the juvenile justice system fully in line with the relevant conventions had not been implemented 78, as juveniles could still be taken into petty offence confinement, and recommended that Hungary abolish this practice.79 JS7 recommended that Hungary reinstate the juvenile courts with judges who had undergone special training and take measures to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 12 years back up to 14 years, even for the most serious crimes.80 JS9 made similar recommendations. 

4. Right to privacy, marriage and family life    

42. JS10 stated that the narrow interpretation of the family included in the 2013 modification of the Fundamental law, could negatively affect certain groups, such as those living in civil partnership, sexual minorities or children not living in a marriage-based family.

43. JS3 stated that a national strategy should be introduced to prevent the forced separation of children from their families due to economic reasons. 

7. Right to social security and to an adequate standard of living

61. JS9 stated that in Hungary approximately 3 million individuals lived under the poverty line, 1.2 million of them in extreme poverty, which particularly affected children and those living in disadvantaged regions. JS9 recommended, inter alia, that Hungary implement efficient policies to address child poverty and reconsider the social and family allowance system with the aim of reducing inequalities. 

63. Regarding the UPR recommendation of the first cycle on the financial and welfare increase in support for families living in poverty,129 JS3 affirmed that child benefits had been broadened especially helping children from large families or children from families of low income.130 JS3 also stated that families where parents were unemployed or had a low income needed special attention and that granting family allowances on a universal basis was highly recommended.

8. Right to health

64. JS7 recommended that Hungary ensure that all social strata, including homeless people have equal access to the universal health care system.132 JS3 highly recommended that Hungary further extend the competencies of health visitors (the only health care and child welfare professionals directly available in rural areas).133 CoE refered to cases of non- compliance of the European Social Charter in the field of labour rights, including that measures taken to reduce the mortality rate had been insufficient and that it was not established that adequate assistance was available to any person in need.

9. Right to education

68. On the first cycle UPR recommendation about the elimination of segregated education, JS3 indicated that although steps to stop segregation in schools had been taken, their realization very much depended upon institutional management decisions. CoE-CM indicated that the authorities had adopted legislative, financial and educational measures to improve the integration of disadvantaged children, many of them belonging to the Roma, into the school system.

69. JS3 stated that it was especially important that disadvantaged regions were equipped with high standard education. JS3 stated that introducing incentives for teachers to take up jobs at more challenging and less developed regions was highly recommended.

70. JS9 recommended that Hungary include human rights (especially children’s rights) in the public education system and strengthen its efforts in raising the awareness about human rights generally.

71. JS9 reported that the new Public Education Act reduced the compulsory school age from 18 to 16 years, with a negative effect on the number of students acquiring higher education certificates and recommended, inter alia, that Hungary raise it to 18 years.

72. JS7 stated that approximately 45% of Roma children attended schools or classes where all or the majority of their classmates were also Roma. JS6 reported that despite protests of civil society, a modification of the Public Education Act was passed in December 2014 that authorized the government to determine (by decree) the waivers which could be applied to permit segregated education. CoE-CM recommended that Hungary take resolute measures to put an end, without further delay, to the continuing segregation of Roma children at school.

73. CoE-ECRI recommended that Hungary stop definitively the practice of placing Roma children without genuine disabilities in schools for the mentally disabled. JS6 stated that testing procedures in use to assess the mental ability of children were contributing to segregation.

10. Persons with disabilities

74. Regarding UPR recommendations to eliminate segregated education, elaborate a national strategy for the introduction of an inclusive education, and ensure the right to education for children with disabilities, JS3 stated that special schools for these children were not available in all regions. JS7 recommended that Hungary, inter alia, take immediate actions to ensure inclusive primary and secondary education for all children with disabilities and phase out the placement of children with disabilities in separate schools or classes.

11. Minorities    

79. JS6 underscored that although the Hungarian National Social Inclusion Strategy was updated in 2014, no specific measures had been adopted to decrease segregation of Romani children.160 CoE-ECRI considered that Hungary’s National Social Inclusion Strategy had had little impact so far. 

12. Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers    

88. JS7 recommended that Hungary ensure that that asylum-seeking, unaccompanied and migrant children were not detained under any circumstance. JS9 recommended that Hungary ensure that all children could effectively access and exercise their rights in criminal proceedings.

89. While commending the establishment of a procedure to assess and confer formal status on stateless persons, CoE-Commissioner noted that the Hungarian legislation still prevented persons who were not lawfully residing in Hungary from applying for stateless status, in breach of Hungary’s international obligations. JSI referred to a number of challenges including restrictions in access to the statelessness determination procedure and recommended, inter alia, that Hungary ensure that all children born in Hungary, who would otherwise be stateless, acquire Hungarian nationality automatically at birth.


Accepted and Rejected Recommendations 

The following recommendations enjoy the support of Hungary:

128.17 Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure (Togo) (Portugal) (Uruguay);

128.33 Continue to implement measures to protect the rights of the child (Tajikistan);

128.34 Enhance measures to protect the rights of children, women and other vulnerable groups (Lao People’s Democratic Republic);

128.35 Consider establishing independent mechanism for monitoring children’s rights and providing necessary financial resources for its functioning (Poland);

128.43 Intensify efforts aimed at implementing recommendations of treaty bodies and special procedures, including the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (Ukraine);

128.67 Continue the implementation of Roma integration policies in all social economic cultural political and educational sectors (Lebanon);

128.71 Implement a comprehensive plan of action envisaged to protect the rights and improve the life conditions of women and children pertaining to ethnic minorities (Uruguay);

128.70 Take all necessary measures to eliminate racial discrimination and segregation of Roma in education (Timor-Leste);

128.73 Step up efforts to address discrimination and social exclusion faced by persons belonging to the Roma minority with particular emphasis on integrated schooling and social housing (Austria);

128.75 Continue to pay special attention to issues related to the elimination of discrimination of the Roma who study in the education system (Belarus);

128.76 Take measures to eliminate any discrimination and segregation in the education system against Roma children (Belgium);

128.81 Take resolute measures to put an end, without further delay, to the continuing segregation of Roma children at school (Finland);

128.82 Take active measures to prevent actual segregation of Roma students in public and private schools (Germany);

128.86 Strengthen its efforts to promote tolerance and cultural understanding of the Roma population in the aim of eliminating discrimination including in regard to access to education and employment and participation in politics (Japan);

128.80 Continue to take specific measures to prevent and eliminate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance against migrants, refugees and asylum seekers (Egypt);

128.85 Take effective steps to end discrimination against Roma in education, health, employment, housing and access to services with a special focus on ending continued segregation of Roma children at schools (India);

128.87 Step up efforts to effectively prevent and combat discrimination of persons belonging to national minorities, in particular regarding their access to education and health care (Kazakhstan);

128.88 Take further steps to eliminate discrimination against the Roma population, especially in the field of education, health, employment, housing and access to services (Namibia);

128.89 Intensify efforts to combat discrimination and ill-treatment of Roma and eliminate segregation of Roma girls in the educational system (Nigeria);

128.91 Continue the work to further social and economic integration of the Roma population, reduce direct and indirect school segregation of Roma children and actively promote Roma participation in society through education (Norway);

128.92 Continue its efforts to integrate the adult Roma population in the labour market and the Roma children and young people in the regular education system (Peru);

128.94 Include specific components in public policies and budgets to address the needs of persons belonging to minorities, including Roma women and children (South Africa);

128.95 Adopt more policies and allocate more resources specifically directed towards Roma women and children (Spain);

128.133 Promote public policies to prevent violence against women and girls, including domestic violence and sexual violence (Mexico);

128.139 Take concrete measures to protect child victims of sexual exploitation and prostitution (Maldives);

128.140 Abandon the practice of corporal punishment of children and encourage non-violent forms of discipline (Poland);

128.147 Intensify efforts to effectively prevent trafficking in women and girls and strengthen measures for the rehabilitation and social integration of victims of trafficking (Georgia);

128.149 Strengthen mechanisms to prevent the trafficking in boys and girls and provide the support needed for victims of trafficking to be reintegrated into society (Mexico);

128.175 Ensure that the implementation of objectives set up in the 2014 National Strategy on Public Education are in line with the objectives and goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (United Arab Emirates);

128.176 Ensure the inclusion of human rights and especially children’s rights in the public education system, raising awareness about human rights in general (Greece);

128.177 Strengthen efforts to provide access to education, labour market and public life for persons with disabilities (Holy See);

128.178 Continue the path regarding positive results achieved in ensuring the rights and equal opportunities of persons with disabilities by, inter alia, allocating sufficient resources for the development of an inclusive education system for children with disabilities and providing sufficient and adequate support services in local communities to enable persons with disabilities to live independently (State of Palestine);

128.181 Consolidate programmes to ensure a system of inclusive education for children with disabilities throughout the country (Mexico);

128.191 Seek alternatives to detaining asylum seekers and migrants, particularly children. Take immediate and effective measures to ensure that conditions of detention are fully consistent with Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Canada);

128.195 Apply a dignified and human treatment that respects the universal principles of human rights for people in situation of human mobility, whether migrants or refugees, with special emphasis on strengthening and implementing policies to address trafficking of persons from a holistic approach , particularly regarding women, children and other vulnerable groups, as well as to combat all forms of discrimination, with measures including complaint an denunciation mechanisms for victims that enable them to achieve reparations (Ecuador);

128.212 Take all the necessary steps to address the placing of asylum-seeking and migrant children in detention, including by repealing relevant legislation allowing for the detention of families accompanied by children (Ireland);

128.213 Review legislation on the rights of migrants and asylum seekers in accordance with Hungary’s obligations under international and European Law and to better apply existing internal rules, namely those related to the handling of unaccompanied children (Italy);

128.214 Make efforts to ensure transparency and consideration for human rights, in particular those of women and children, in its treatment of migrants and refugees (Japan);

The recommendations listed below do not enjoy the support of Hungary:

128.1 Widen the scope of international obligations through accession to the remaining international treaties, such as the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Albania);

128.2 Consider ratifying the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189), and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure (Philippines);

128.5 Become party to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Conventions on the refugees and stateless persons, the ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) and the Convention against Discrimination in Education (Honduras);

128.7 Withdraw its reservation on pertinent articles of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (South Africa);

128.123 Raise the legal age of marriage for women and men to 18 years (Maldives);

(19. The current legislation ensures the participation of women in political life and in decision-making, therefore no further legislative steps are necessary. However, the current comprehensive strategy aims to combat remaining gender stereotypes through new programs, media campaigns and projects for NGOs. Marriage under the age of 16 is not allowed. Between 16-18 years it is possible only with the permission of the Guardianship Office which takes into account the best interest of the child.)

128.125 Reinstate juvenile courts and raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14 years, for all crimes, in line with international standards (Botswana);

128.153 Take necessary measures for strengthening its specialized juvenile justice system in compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Republic of Moldova);

128.154 Continue efforts for the reintegration of former child offenders in the society (Republic of Moldova);

(18. The planned new Criminal Procedure Code will include further guarantees to take into account the best interest of the children in the juvenile justice system. The new rules of the Criminal Code regarding detention and reintegration of children, in particular those between the ages of 12-14, are more favourable compared to older offenders.)

128.170 Provide greater support for poor families and children and reduce social inequality (China);

128.173 Effectively implement ongoing national policy to guarantee quality education for minority (Lao People’s Democratic Republic);

128.174 Ensure that the standards of education in national minorities’ languages as well as teaching of minorities languages are the same as the general standards of education in the country (Romania);




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