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Hungary - Universal Periodic Review - Gender-based Violence against Women - March 2021

Date: March 25, 2021
Country: Hungary
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: International Advocacy, Women's Rights
Mechanism: Universal Periodic Review
Report Type: Stakeholder Report
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The Advocates for Human Rights, together with NANE Women's Rights Association and PATENT (People Opposing Patriarchy), submitted a stakeholder report relating to gender-based violence against women in Hungary for the39th session of the working group on the Universal Periodic Review. 

Although domestic violence and other forms of violence against women remain serious problems in Hungary, the State's legal measures provide inadequate remedies. Only cohabiting persons or co-parenting couples are included in the Criminal Code's domestic violence definitions. Under the offense of domestic violence, the law also criminalizes only the second incident of physical violence that takes place within a short time period. Further, minor offenses of domestic violence either require private prosecution or require the victim's motion for punishment of the perpetrator. NGOs continue to indicate that support, shelter, and resources for victims of domestic violence are insufficient, stifled further by theCOVID-19 pandemic. Reporting also indicates that legal and police officials are ill-trained to address violence against women, demonstrating victim-blaming and a lack of specialized treatment of cases that take into account the imbalanced power dynamics in violent relationships. Although Hungary signed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence in 2014, a May 2020 vote by the Parliament blocked ratification of that treaty.  

The authors of the report suggest the following recommendationfor Hungary: 

  • Criminalize all forms of domestic violence, including the first instance of domestic violence.  

  • Establish a broader definition of domestic violence, both in criminal legislation and in the law on restraining orders. 

  • Collect data on the total number of domestic violence cases, separating cases by the sex, age, and relationships status of both the victim and the offender. Collect data on the number of temporary preventive restraining orders issued by the police and courts in such cases publicly available.  

  • Establish policies and procedures to ensure that victims of domestic violence are protected from their abusers, even without the involvement of criminal authorities and allow for removal of the abuser, no contact in any way with the applicant, and for children to stay in the home with the applicant. 

  • Provide more awareness and legal training to the judiciary and prosecutors, as well as child protection personnel to ensure that domestic violence is understood and vigorously addressed. 

  • Establish victim-centered professional and public awareness-raising measures to adequately address the issue of rape and sexual violence, in compliance with international standards.