The biggest child rights abuses in Hungary in 2016 - Family Child Youth Association

03 Jan 2017

The Hungarian portal WMN and author Dr. Szilvia Gyurko made a list of the ten gravest violations of child rights that came to light in 2016 in Hungary.

1. Child abuse in Szigetszentmiklos:years after still no judgment

The Budapest court has ordered a new court process in the case that got the most media attention in the past couple of years - due to procedural irregularities. The court case started in 2013 so the criminal proceeding has been going on for three years, while the abuse against the children had taken place even earlier. Even if there is a law for expedited court processes, still several years go by without a ruling.

2. Child protection in trouble: a child was starved to death in Gyöngyös

A year-and-half-old baby died due to malnutrition, as a consequence of neglect by the parents and the inability of the child protection system to protect him. Even if the visiting nurse and the pediatrician both have signalled the problem, there was no child protection measure taken. This case has truly pointed to the adage of "a whole village is needed to raise a child".

3. Apalling child poverty data

According to April data of the Central Statistical office 42% of children under 7 years of age live in poverty in Hungary. 

4. Scandal from an awareness raising campaign

UNICEF Hungary produced a small film raising awareness about the fact that children have no protection from domestic violence (abuse in the family). A big public outcry followed, but unfortunately the discussion was only about which parent is more abusive or is it ok to show this film to children, rather than discussing whether children can really protect themselves from abuse. 

5All time high in reporting sexual abuse against children

Almost each week there was a media reporting of a case, but more discussion would be needed to make real changes and change attitude of people and authorities towards victims.

6. Education in crisis

There were demonstrations, campaigns, dubious high-school entrance exams and very negative PISA results. Despite all this there is no meaningful change in education or even a state recognition that there is a problem.

7. child protection law going against families

Despite many criticisms, the modification of the child protection law requires child protection workers to assume serious child neglect if a parent is not cooperating with the child protection system. 

8. A child with disability was made to rest in a cupboard in one of the institutions

No comment.

Even if there is now a café where people with disabilities serve clients, and a gym where people with disabilities can work out together with other people, there are huge problems with the way the system treats children with disabilities.

9. Scandal with after-school programs

In the past 15 years Roma children living in segregated communities, or those who do not get support from parents have had a second chance in these after-school programs. Up until 2016 when even the most experienced, famous and respected programs lost the competition for operational funds, while newly established local-government programs won these same funds. We feel that again the needs of children was completely disregarded.

1071 dead, among them four children in a freezer truck that was smugging people to Austria

The values of a society is reflected in the way it reats its needy. Homelss people, victims of abuse can understand for a lifetime whether there are people who help them out. The recent refugee crisis has put Hungarian solidarity and humanity at the test. And in 2016 close to 9,000 unaccompanied minors went missing in Europe. 


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