A joint report by ECPAT and the Hintalovon Foundation found that children living in deep poverty are much more likely to become victims of sexual exploitation.
Children in public care are often removed from their home for financial reasons. Unfortunately, both children coming from financial hardship and Roma children are particularly at risk. It also turned out that most victims of sexual exploitation come from the poorest regions of the country. In many cases, these are children who have already been sexually abused in their families and have suffered severe trauma as a result, writes 444.hu.
It is a shocking fact that half of the victims of sexual trafficking registered in the European Union in 2015 and 2016 were Hungarians.
This means that out of 1310 cases, 647 were people from Hungary. 64 per cent of the 647 cases were children and what is even more shocking that 7.4 per cent were under the age of 11.
To protect children, the foundation and international forums believe that the age limit for marriage should be raised to 18 years. This would give children better protection from the sexual exploitation that is often disguised as marriage. There is no exact data, but according to experts, Roma girls are particularly at risk in this regard.
According to the report, it is a positive change that in 2020 the definition of “suspected victim of human trafficking” also appeared in the Hungarian legislation. All minors offered to provide sexual services who are reached by the authorities automatically fall into this category. They must be provided with general protection and transported to a designated children’s home. Previously,
these minors were even punishable.
It is also a positive change that in 2019, 22 qualified human trafficking specialists were appointed at county police stations. Nevertheless, the services provided to victims are still insufficient in both quality and quantity.
The report only contains published statistics and information obtained through a public interest data request. According to a UN report published in early February, the number of children victims of trafficking has almost tripled in the last 15 years.