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Government to tighten child protection law

The child protection law will be further tightened, possibly within weeks, a government official told a press conference on Thursday, adding that the measures so far had led to a growing number of investigations of crimes connected to child abuse.

An amendment proposal of the child protection law will be soon submitted to parliament, with a view of making children even safer from child abusers, Bence Retvari, a state secretary of the interior ministry, said.

Currently, 211 policemen are working on cases of child abuse nationwide, Retvari said. Criminal proceedings of crimes against children have been launched in 444 cases this year alone, and 1,035 investigations are currently under way, he said. More than half of the cases concern child pornography, over 10 percent cases coercion, while the rest are connected with sexual assault and abuse, or soliciting child prostitution, he said.

Most of the crimes are committed at home, others in children’s homes and some in schools, Retvari said. Besides Hungarians, Ukrainian, Russian and Romanian nationals are also being investigated, he added.

The authorities’ forceful action is expected to reduce latency and unresolved cases, Retvari said.

Sandor Toreki, the deputy police chief, said that the number of procedures investigating child abuse grew to 571 in 2023, from 408 in 2002. Fully 124 investigations in cases of crimes against children have already been concluded this year, he added.

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