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.

The National Police Headquarters collects data on both bias motivation and type of crime.

The Prosecution Service collects hate crime data on both bias motivation and type of crime with the help of the "yes/no" hate crime tab and a tab for indicating the "nature of hatred" in ENyÜBS. The “nature of hatred” tab reflects the protected characteristics listed in Article 8 of Act CXXV of 2003 on Equal Treatment and the Promotion of Equal Opportunities.

The National Office for the Judiciary collects data only about the type of crime and include offences with a hate motivation. 

Hate crime victim support

While Hungary has a general victim support system, there is no state support provided specifically to hate crime victims. There are no legal provisions specifically related 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. In 2021, an opt-out system of victim support was introduced for victims of several types of crimes, who are contacted automatically by the victim support services unless they explicitly refuse to have their personal data shared. Victims of hate crime are not covered by this policy, unless they fall into one of the categories mentioned in the law (namely, violent crimes, sexual abuse, harassment, robbery, and theft).

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' request, and victims may need to prove that criminal proceedings have been initiated. The police are 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 victims have the right to submit evidence, file motions and observations, address the court in the course of closing arguments, attend the trial and other procedural acts, inspect case documents, be informed about the rights and obligations in a criminal proceeding by the court, the prosecution service, or the investigating authority, seek legal remedy, make use of assistance of an aide, enforce a civil claim and act as a private prosecuting party or a substitute private prosecuting party. Victims are also entitled to make a statement, at any time, regarding any physical or mental harm or pecuniary loss they suffered as a result of the criminal offence, and whether they wish the defendant to be convicted and punished. Victims must be informed about major developments in their case and judicial authorities are obliged to make sure the information is understood, including through the use of interpreters.

  All vulnerable victims of crime can make use of protection measures when testifying in court, such as restricting the right of any party at the court proceedings, confidential treatment of personal data, using video conference equipment, facilitating involvement of a person of trust, or taking into account the personal needs of a victim in planning and performing procedural acts. 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 (or the state, if impossible to execute from the perpetrator's property) in a civil procedure.

Hate crime capacity building

The Directorate General for Law Enforcement organizes regular sensitizing trainings for the service command staff. A guide on handling hate incidents motivated by hatred or prejudice was issued and distributed among local police officers. The police use a list of bias indicators (Instruction 30/2019 (VII.18.) to guide their hate crime response. Since March 2022, an e-learning training course on anti-Semitism and hate crime is mandatory for all police officers.

Prosecutors, deputy prosecutors and trainee prosecutors receive regular training on hate crime.