National frameworks to address hate crime in Hungary

This page provides information on the national frameworks to address hate crime in Hungary. The information provided here should be viewed alongside data presented on Hungary's hate crime report page.

Hate crime recording and data collection

The Hungarian Police does not have a special unit responsible for recording or investigating hate crimes. However, a list of hate crime indicators to help police detect and classify hate crimes more precisely has been developed by criminal justice bodies and civil society groups. The Hungarian Police does not have special forms or templates for recording, reporting on or collecting data on hate crime cases. The protocol for each criminal offence is identical. When the protocol is recorded, officers can mark a potential hate crime and the category of bias motivation on a statistical card, and should also include bias indicators in the description field in text format. However, it is not possible to mark the bias motivation if the perpetrator is unknown.  

As of January 2019, the statistical system recognizes the bias motivation underlying a criminal offence. Two new fields were introduced in the statistical form: (i) a yes/no question on whether the crime is a hate crime; and (ii) a question about the protected characteristics listed in article 216 of the Criminal Code (namely, "race", nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and other). The form allows protected characteristics to be recorded, but the statistics are not disaggregated by the specific group targeted in the crime.  

The bias motivation should be marked in every case where Article 216 is involved, as well as for the following offences: homicide (Article 160 (1)(c)), battery (Article  164 (4)(a) and (6)(a)), violation of personal freedom (Article  194 (2)(b)), defamation (Article 226. (2)(a)), unlawful detention (Article 304 (2)(a)), and insult of a subordinate (Article 449 (2)(a)). Furthermore, hate crime statistics also include offences under the following articles of the Criminal Code: violation of the freedom of conscience and religion (Article 215), violence against a member of the community (Article 216), incitement against a community (Article 332), and open denial of Nazi crimes and Communist crimes (Article 333). Bias motivation should also be marked in cases where the act was committed due to perceived or presumed membership of a group. The duties of police officers related to recording and investigating hate crimes are governed by instruction no. 30/2019 of the National Police. 

The prosecutor's office does not have separate records on hate crimes. Criminal data are collected under the Unified Investigation Authority and Prosecutor's Office Criminal Statistics System (ENyÜBS). ENyÜBS contains data provided by the Ministry of the Interior and the General Prosecutor's Office, including on criminal proceedings conducted by the police, the National Tax and Customs Board and the Public Prosecutor's Office, and is supplemented by data from the accusation phase of the prosecution. ENyÜBS is a follow-up statistical system containing statistical data on registered criminal offences, as data are registered in the system once the investigation is complete.  

Hate crime victim support

While Hungary has a general victim support system, there is no state support provided specifically to hate crime victims. 

Victims of hate crimes can use the services of the general Victim Support Service, which is integrated with district and government county offices. There also exists a network of victim support centres, but these are limited to the four largest cities. Victims can obtain general psychological support, basic legal counselling, free interpretation, and financial compensation. Medical support is provided through regular emergency services. There are victim protection specialists among law enforcement and the courts, but they do not provide specific support to hate crime victims. The Ministry of Justice operates a victim support helpline, which is available at all times. General support to victims is also provided by the White Ring Association – a civil society organization (CSO) that is funded by the state. There are no quality standards related to the provision of victim support services.      

Some CSOs provide specialized support to hate crime victims, but their services are not integrated into the overall victim support scheme. They are funded either by the European Commission or international private donors and do not receive state financing. The specialized service providers operate mainly in the capital and have limited outreach in the regions. Such providers offer legal assistance, psychological and social support, and also accompany victims to the police station or court hearings.  

The procedure for conducting individual needs assessments (INAs) is institutionalized. However, the INA forms used by police do not specifically relate to hate crime victims. There is no guidance on how to use the INA form, but some police have been trained on the matter by CSOs. Through an INA, a victim may be granted the status of a victim in need of special treatment, and thus request support. Both the public Victim Support Service and the network of victim support centres only work on victims' requests, and victims may need to prove that criminal proceedings have been initiated. The police is obliged to inform victims of the support offered by public providers. There is no systematic exchange of information between the police, public victim support services and specialized support providers.  

The police have a hate crime protocol that requires the sensitive and respectful treatment of hate crime victims, but there is no guidance on applying this principle in practice. There are special interviewing rooms at police stations for victims in need of special treatment. There is also an Independent Police Complaint Board, and victims can turn to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights or the Equal Treatment Authority if their treatment is discriminatory or degrading due to their membership of a particular social group. 

All vulnerable victims of crime can make use of protection measures when testifying in court, such as by using video conference equipment. They also have the right to a separate waiting area, to be accompanied during the trial and to receive a copy of the trial records. State compensation is limited to violent intentional crimes, but victims may act as private parties and claim compensation from the perpetrator in a civil procedure.