Hungary policy on trafficking in human beings

In Act C of 2012 on the Criminal Code, which entered into force on 1 July 2013, the formulation of the legal definition of the crime of human trafficking complies with the expectations of international conventions (Act CII of 2006 on the Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, Act XVIII of 2013 on the Convention of the Council of Europe against Trafficking in Human Beings, 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). Under Section 192 of the Criminal Code, the particular legal definition of trafficking in human beings rules, by keeping the provisions formerly in force and at the same time complementing them, on trafficking with the purpose of exploitation as a new element. While the specific feature of the phenomenon of trafficking in humans was kept in view, the exploitation nature of the criminal act was given sufficient emphasis in addition to its transaction feature. Under the Criminal Code, trafficking in human beings with the purpose of exploitation is punishable by one to five years’ imprisonment. In the case of perpetration through a criminal organization, the ceiling of punishment has risen to ten years’ imprisonment. Under the Criminal Code, the central conceptual element of exploitation is the attempt to benefit from misusing the position of a victim brought into or kept in a vulnerable position. Thus, actually obtaining a purchase price by selling victim or depriving victim of their earnings or income are no essential criteria for an act to qualify as exploitation. Benefit does not only mean financial benefit; it means any other benefit, advantage or advantageous position that is gained by misusing the position of the victim. Vulnerable position may refer to a single factor or factors that make the victim vulnerable to the perpetrator. The vulnerable position may arise through the perpetrator’s behaviour or action, or irrespective of these. In the latter case, misuse is implemented by perpetrators through maintaining the existing vulnerable position (e.g. homelessness or financial plight) or by preventing the victims from recovering from it.
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