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Justice Minister: Hungary against legalising promotion of prostitution

Hungary is against an European Union proposal under which the promotion of prostitution could be legalised, the justice minister said in Brussels on Thursday.

The Hungarian government also refuses to support another proposal aimed at holding inmates sentenced to prison for minor crimes in open prisons, the minister told Hungarian journalists on the sidelines of an informal meeting of his EU counterparts.

Concerning the former proposal, Tuzson said the promotion of prostitution was a criminal activity in Hungary, and the country could not support its decriminalization. Moreover, it certainly would not support prostitution becoming a licensed activity, he said, adding that no treaty between EU member states existed that could force Hungary adhere to such an EU decision.

“Some say organised crime could be better combatted if the organisation or promotion of prostitution were to be legalised … we most firmly reject that approach,” the minister said.

Under the open prison proposal, minor offenders could be kept detained in “dwellings, in their own rooms” rather than in prisons, Tuzson said. The measure would “remove the actual punishment from the punishment … therefore Hungary cannot support the initiative,” he said.

“Hungary has a different penal policy; we want to put the victim in focus rather than the perpetrator,” Tuzson said, noting the government’s efforts to set up a network of help centres for victims of crime. “Hungary wants to make progress in the field of helping victims,” he added.

The Hungarian government supports the EU’s proposals concerning organised crimes, especially drug-related crimes, Tuzson said, urging an “effective and coordinated effort”. “Hungary will support all efforts of this kind,” he added.

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