Hungary (CRC 03-03-2020)
The Committee considered the sixth periodic report of Hungary (CRC/C/HUN/6) at its 2436th and 2437th meetings (see CRC/C/SR.2436 and 2437), held on 22 and 23 January 2020, and adopted the present concluding observations at its 2460th meeting, held on 7 February 2020.
C. General principles (arts. 2, 3, 6 and 12)
- With reference to target 10.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals and recalling its previous recommendations (CRC/C/HUN/CO/3-5, para. 20), the Committee urges the State party:
(a) To implement its laws that prohibit discrimination against children in marginalized and disadvantaged situations, such as girls, children with disabilities, Roma children, migrant and unaccompanied children and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children, and to take measures to educate the public about equality and non-discrimination and to expand its programmes in schools;
(b) To strengthen its measures aimed at eliminating discrimination against Roma children, through the adoption of a national action plan with a particular focus on education, health, child protection services and housing, and to increase support to the anti-segregation working groups created in 2017;
(c) To strengthen the work of the Equal Treatment Authority to address discrimination against children with disabilities and Roma children;
(d) To ensure that the mandatory review of equal opportunity plans in public education takes place at least every three years, as per government decree 229/2012 (30.VIII), which came into effect in April 2018.
E. Violence against children (arts. 19, 24 (3), 28 (2), 34, 37 (a) and 39)
Violence, including sexual violence, abuse and neglect
- The Committee is seriously concerned about:
(a) The lack of information on a national strategy to prevent and address all forms of violence against children, including sexual abuse, including specific measures targeting girls, Roma children, asylum-seeking and migrant children and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children;
(b) The low level of effectiveness and use by children of the procedures for reporting cases of violence against children to the authorities.
- With reference to its general comment No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, recalling target 16.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals and recalling its previous recommendations (CRC/C/HUN/CO/3-5, paras. 30, 32 and 35), the Committee urges the State party:
(a) To develop a national strategy to prevent and address all forms of violence against children, including sexual abuse, paying particular attention to girls and children in disadvantaged situations, including children with disabilities, children in alternative care, Roma children, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children, and asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children, and to ensure that the strategy clearly informs children about the procedures available for reporting cases of violence;
(b) To put in place child-sensitive mechanisms to facilitate and promote the reporting of cases and ensure that complaints mechanisms are child-friendly and available both online and offline, paying particular attention to alternative care settings, detention facilities and facilities for asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children, and to ensure that cases are promptly recorded and investigated and that perpetrators are prosecuted and duly sanctioned;
(c) To consider expanding the application of the regulations on institutional, operational and sectoral methodology for investigating and addressing cases of abuse of children and young adults in childcare institutions, foster families and correctional institutions, of the Ministry of Human Resources, to all settings and instances where children may be victims of violence;
(d) To adopt the legal measures necessary to support the implementation of the Barnahus programme, and to ensure that child victims of violence have effective access to the investigation and therapy services based on the Barnahus model and that these services are by default available to all child victims of violence.
I. Education, leisure and cultural activities (arts. 28–31)
Education, including early childhood education and care
- The Committee welcomes the introduction of early childhood education from the age of 3 years, the creation of the working group on diversity education, and the creation of the MONDO card game and the “Wise Up!” programme to teach children about their rights. However, the Committee is seriously concerned about:
(a) The number of students leaving school early, most of them from disadvantaged backgrounds;
(b) The allocation of public schools to religious communities (church-run schools) in some settlements, which can contribute to segregation based on religion or belief;
(c) The continuing segregation of Roma children in special education, the increased gap in attainment between Roma and non-Roma children at different levels of education, and the lack of official data on Roma children in education;
(d) The bullying, abuse and exclusion faced by children in schools, in particular lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children;
(e) The fact that the methods of discipline used in schools do not always comply with the legal requirement that children are to be protected from physical and mental violence.
- The Committee, recalling its previous recommendations (CRC/C/HUN/CO/3-5, para. 53), urges the State party to:
(a) To re-establish compulsory education until the age of 18 years to prevent children leaving school early;
(b) To limit the allocation of public education services to religious groups in order to avoid segregation;
(c) To strengthen efforts to eliminate discrimination against Roma children in schools, to take prompt measures to close the gap in attainment between Roma and non-Roma children in primary education, and to collect data on the situation of Roma children in education to inform policy measures;
(d) To intensify its efforts to prevent and address bullying in schools, including online bullying, and to provide support to child victims, in particular lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children;
(e) To ensure that the legal protection of children in schools against physical and mental violence is strictly upheld.