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Sex Workers’ Association in Hungary Start Newsletter

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.

Among other topics, the first issue deals with the entrepreneur’s license, a prerequisite for sex workers to operate legally in Hungary. Following is a brief summary of another article on how sex work is viewed by the general public in Hungary.


Sex Workers’ Association in Hungary and Fact Institute conducted a joint survey to map views held by the general public on sex workers. The phone survey was done on a sample representing the adult population of Hungary in terms of sex, age, education and location of residence.


The results indicate that the Hungarians lack tolerance regarding sexual services, and are not consistent in their views regarding prostitution. According to sociologist László Tistyán people value the rule of law as far as their own rights are concerned, but when it comes to sex workers, gay people or the Roma, it becomes irrelevant.


Prostitution is not regarded as a social problem of prime significance by the Hungarians. The majority of the respondents were indifferent, but quite a number reject prostitutes, especially female respondents. Most people blame poverty for prostitution, but the view that sex workers chose their profession because they are fast still holds on.


Every tenth respondent regarded disdainful treatment of sex workers acceptable, and the same proportion of people would allow authorities to mistreat them. One third of the Hungarians are indifferent to such treatments of sex workers.


60 per cent of the respondents accept prostitution as a legal profession, while 20 per cent would never consent to that. Three quarters of the people would permit prostitution in brothels and "tolerance zones", but 20 per cent would ban all forms of it. More than half of the respondents agree that municipalities which, despite the legal regulations, fail to assign zones of tolerance must be punished, but only 40 per cent would approve Hungary’s pulling out of the UN convention against prostitution.

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