Facebook page of SWAN Twitter page of SWAN RSS feeds

site available in english and russian

  • English
  • Russian


Member Organizations
More Information

Country info

Country information: Hungary (Magyarország) is a landlocked country in Central Europe situated in the Carpathian Basin.

Human Rights 2015: an overview by Amnesty International.

HIV/AIDS rates: A cumulative total of 2 115 HIV cases, 656 AIDS cases by the end of 2011 according to WHO.

HIV prevalence among sex workers: 0%.

Legal situation around sex work: Sex work is legal.

Sex work in Hungary has been legal and has been regulated since 1999 under Act LXXV. Sex work is allowed as long as sex workers comply with the criteria set forth within the law. However, these criteria are often vague, overly broad and arbitrarily enforced by police representatives and judges.

The criterea are as follows:

  • street sex is permitted in so-called „tolerance zones”:
    • these zones need to be identified in each municipality, but in practice the authorities are reluctant ot identify such zones;
    • soliciting, offering and advertising sexual services in protected zones are also prohibited, which may lead to fines and when unpaid this may lead toa detention.
  • sex workers must possess entrepreneurial permits;
  • sex workers mustregularly pay taxes;
  • sex workers must attend obligatory health checks every three months to get a health certificate.

Any person who violates these restrictions on sexual services commits an administrative offense and shall be punished by confinement or fine. The law determines that for an unpaid 5.000 HUF fine (approximately 15 EUR) the sentence of one day imprisonment can be received.

Since 2012 a new law on misdemeanors affects sex workers. Since then, police officers are allowed to fine sex workers on the spot for being non-compliant with the often vague regulations surrounding sex work (i.e. for offering their sevices in ill-defined or undefined protected zones).

Sex workers are frequently charged with offences they did not commit, such as littering or violating pedestrian or traffic regulations.

The Criminal Code punishes the following:

  • renting a buiding / place for another person to engage in prostitution;
  • maintaining or operating a brothel, or providing financial means for the operation of a brothel;
  • engagement of the underaged;
  • soliciting;
  • living on earnings from prostitution;
  • pandering.

Buying sexual services is not prohibited.

See more detailed information on legal situation around sex work in Hungary >>HERE in English and >> HERE in Hungarian.

Services for sex workers: Legal, health, social services.

Sex workers’ movement: SZEXE unites sex worker activists.

Latest news

By Aliya on Dec 18th, 2009

17 December, 2009, Budapest --- Hungarian news agency Hirszerzo writes about Hungarian prostitution and the press-conference held in Budapest on December 17 by the Association of Hungarian Prostitutes.

* Read the article in Hungarian below. Please use the YAHOO!. Babel fish translation to get the article translated into your language.

By Aliya on Dec 16th, 2009

Bors, Hungary
November 16th 2009 – Wearing only panties and bras, sex workers are on display in small, wooden shacks with large windows overlooking road 53 in Bács-Kiskun county.

By Aliya on Dec 16th, 2009

The meeting brought together 32 participants from 16 countries with the aim to exchange experience, share problems and find solutions, renew and strengthen the partnership ties and get to know new network members better.

By Aliya on Dec 16th, 2009

The Ohrid network meeting was preceded by an activists’ meeting. 18 sex worker activists turned the meeting room into an art workshop and a cafeteria to discuss issues and personal experience around sex work in their countries.

By Aliya on Dec 15th, 2009

(translated from Hungarian)

The participants included sex workers and representatives of organizations promoting sex workers’ rights from 16 countries . When checking in it was already clear that we were about to have a training of relaxed atmosphere with a team of nice, intelligent and funny people. The level of the hotel service further raised our mood.

By Aliya on Dec 15th, 2009

After a few years of relative silence on sex work legislation in the Hungarian media, the debate regained momentum this summer.

By Aliya on Dec 15th, 2009

The newsletter is titled Hetaeras (Hetérák) after the elite mistresses in ancient Greece who alone, among all Greek women, were allowed to manage their own affairs. We translated an article on an opinion poll on sex work in Hungary.

By Aliya on Dec 1st, 2009

Budapest, 1 December, 2009 -- A first issue of HETERAK is issued in Hungary. The newsletter is dedicated not only to Hungarian sex workers and the situation with sex work in Hungary, but also to the situation in the world.

Download the HETERAK in pdf format here.

By Guest on Sep 28th, 2009

September 3, 2009, Budapest -- The Association of Hungarian Prostitutes (MPEE), a member of SWAN in Hungary held a press conference to highlight the results of a recent survey on the opinion of mainstream population about prostitution in Hungary.

By Aliya on Jun 22nd, 2009

April 30, 2009, Budapest -- Prostitution has already been legal in Hungary for 10 years and it might still be legal while not such bright future awaits the clients. Anti-trafficking organizations in Hungary are pushing for the introduction of Swedish type of legislation, according to which the client commits a crime when buying sexual services from a prostitute.

By Aliya on May 21st, 2007
By adam on Jul 31st, 2006

Prostitutes working in the southern Hungarian city of Pécs and its surroundings have recently been subjected to tax audits by the Hungarian Tax Authority (APEH). Sex workers were first monitored by the police; data collected about their activities were handed to the APEH, which then started audit. One sex worker sued the APEH.

By idoru on Apr 14th, 2006

 The Hungarian Prostitutes’ Interest Protection Association (SZEXE) was founded in 2000, soon after prostitution became legal in Hungary. The NGO started to work first as an interest representation of women sex workers at disadvantage, and in 2002, homo- and transsexual sex workers joined also the association. SZEXE aims at protecting sex workers’ rights and helping sex workers willing to quit to spend as little time in prostitution as possible. In order to achieve these aims, SZEXE runs a free legal aid service and a 24-hours hot-line, provides assistance and counselling in health and social issues, promotes safer sex, implements training projects for unqualified sex workers and advocates for respect for sex workers’ rights. Recently, SZEXE (with state support and cooperation) started to operate a mobile HIV & STI testing unit. More

Contact: Boglarka Fedorko
E-mail: info@prostitualtak.hu and mpeeandras@gmail.com
Website: www.prostitualtak.hu