Hungary strengthens child protection laws with stricter measures and enhanced online security

In a significant move to bolster child protection, Fidesz MPs have introduced a robust legislative package to the National Assembly aimed at intensifying penalties for pedophiles and enhancing child safety measures.

Announced by Máté Kocsis, leader of the Fidesz parliamentary group, the proposal represents a firm stance in safeguarding Hungary’s children from sexual offenses and inappropriate digital content.

The proposed laws outline severe consequences for sexual offenses with pedophilic intent: Such crimes will not expire, and offenders will face strict penalties, including the inability to obtain parole, reintegration custody, or a certificate of good conduct. Furthermore, Hungarian citizens who commit these offenses abroad will also be included in a public pedophile database, ensuring comprehensive accountability regardless of where the crime occurs.

Professionals working with children who neglect to report situations where a child is at risk could face up to two years in prison, demonstrating the government’s zero-tolerance policy towards negligence in child protection roles.

"We subject workers in child protection institutions to strict aptitude tests to ensure that the children are entrusted to safe hands," stated Kocsis, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding institutions from individuals with malicious intentions.

Additionally, the legislative package aims to protect children from exposure to age-inappropriate content online.

It introduces measures to simplify the process for parents to request a filtered internet service, where sites blacklisted by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) are not accessible. This is closely linked with broader amendments that bolster the rights and dignity of children in the digital realm.

Máté Kocsis highlighted the government's commitment to robust protective measures, stating: "We must protect our children with every tool available."

By tightening the legal framework around the conduct and oversight of individuals working with children and enhancing the control parents have over the content accessible to their children online, the government is actively working to shield the youngest members of society from harm.

This focus on child protection is part of a broader commitment to uphold family values and societal safety, reflecting the government's priority to nurture a secure and healthy environment for future generations.