Is it legal or illegal to work as a prostitute in Hungary? And if it is legal, where can you do it in the country? Anywhere or only in places authorities allow you to do so? We collected the answers below.
We reported HERE that a Nigerian university student raped a prostitute in Budapest. Since many of you asked the questions mentioned above, we collected the answers below.
After WWII, the Communist regime banned prostitution and closed all brothels, but unofficially it continued to flourish. In the 1980s, for example, to avoid the inspections of the authorities, prostitutes worked in massage saloons. In the 1990s, the main places where prostitutes could be found became the outskirts of the cities, truck parking places and the roads leading out of or into them.
Those days the age of sexual consent was 14, which was increased to 18 in 2007.
Those who had a sexual relationship with people under 18 could receive a prison sentence from 0 to 3 years if they gave money in return. According to Budapest’s chief of police, in 2004, there were at least 1,000 brothels in Budapest.
Today, according to the law, local authorities have the power to mark zones for legal prostitution if there is a profound local need. Soliciting is allowed within the so-called tolerance zones. However, most of them have yet refused to designate them because when they do so those living close to them protest immediately even though these zones
must be at least 300 metres away from schools, cemeteries or churches.
Since there are not enough such zones, prostitutes are still present on the different roads leading out or into the big cities. This is why there is a slut map in Hungary collecting the information about the prostitutes waiting for their customers in the different parts of the country.
Of course, all prostitutes must be at least 18 years old. Furthermore, they have to possess an “entrepreneur’s permit” and pay taxes. Moreover, every three months they have to take part in a
mandatory STI and HIV testing,
and police can inspect their health certificate any time.
Meanwhile, running brothels or providing a place for prostitution, promoting prostitution or living on the earnings of other people’s prostitution is still illegal.
Interestingly, most of the Hungarian sex workers do not know that prostitution is legal, and experts say that the legal framework is terrible in the issue increasing only the vulnerability of the people. The Hungarian Sex Workers’ Advocacy Association (SZEXE) tries to protect the interests of the prostitutes with more or less success. According to them,
the altogether number of Hungarian sex workers is around 8-10 thousand
working abroad or in the country. Interestingly, many of the Hungarian sex workers moved to Germany because salaries are higher there.
Most of the Hungarian prostitutes work in flats and hotels instead of the streets. They cannot hire a security guard or a driver and cannot rent a flat because, in that case, the lessor would carry out the crime of running prostitutes. The most significant problem of these is that they cannot rent a flat which makes their job much more dangerous.