Half-yearly THB forums in the Ministry of Interior

Publicated on: July 14, 2023

Almost 60 experts met at the National Coordination Mechanism and NGO Roundtable on 11-12 July.

At the meeting of the National Coordination Mechanism, the state bodies involved in the fight against trafficking were given an overview of the evaluation visit of CoE GRETA, the recommendations of US TIP Report and the ongoing policy developments in the European Union. The legislative changes of the past semester were also on the agenda, including the facilitated access to instant monetary aid, the newly-introduced free legal aid for victims of trafficking, and as regards third-country nationals, the extension of the personal scope of Gov. Decree No. 354/2012 as well as the adoption of Act L of 2023 on the employment of guest workers in Hungary.

The meeting then focused on the progress of the Action Plan for 2022–2023 of the National Anti-Trafficking Strategy. The implementing bodies reported a number of tangible results, notably the designation of old people’s homes for elderly victims, the opening of new halfway houses, as well as the establishment of a regional coordination mechanism with the members of the signalling system and a specialized network of prosecutors for THB and adjoining crimes.

In the last item of the agenda, the participants were informed about the preparation process of the Swiss-Hungarian Cooperation Programme and the funding opportunities under the Internal Security Fund of the EU to be opened in the autumn. 

Next day the NGO Roundtable was attended by representatives of civil society organizations involved in victim assistance, international organizations (IOM, UNICEF) and the embassies of the United States and the United Kingdom. The legislative amendments, the implementation of the national strategy and the presentation of the upcoming projects were important topics at this consultation too.

In addition, the large number of experts discussed the typical medical problems of trafficked victims and the provision of free basic and specialized health care on the basis of social need. Given the complexity of the topic, the Ministry of Finance, the National Institute of Health Insurance Fund Management as well as the V. District Office of the Government Office of the Capital City Budapest were also invited to the meeting. Participants shared their experiences and talked about the procedure for granting social security status for people on low income. All stakeholders agreed that the special care needs of some victims may go beyond the opportunities of sheltered accommodations (e.g. people with psychiatric needs, substance use, disabilities), so a coherent solution needs to be found at the national level, and the forthcoming national strategy and EU funds can be effectively used for this purpose.


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