The EU and Norway should use available mechanisms to stop the law, including by freezing of funds, such as the EEA and Norway grants to Hungary.
The bill violates the EU Charter and Treaty
15 June 2021, the Hungarian parliament adopted the “Act on Imposing Stricter Sentences on Offenders of Child Abuse and Amendments of the Child Protection Act” (T/16265).
The government portrays the amendments as necessary to protect children from paedophilia, but it also bans portrayal and the “promotion” of gender identity different from sex at birth, the change of sex and homosexuality for persons under 18. The wording of the law will be introduced into the Child protection act, the Act on Business Advertising Activity, the Media Act, the Family Protection Act and the Public Education Act
– The Government’s stated intent of combating paedophilia serves to discredit LGBTI persons and build public support for a deeply discriminatory law, says Mina Skouen, Senior adviser for Equal rights and non-discrimination in NHC.
The legislation will impact the possibility of young people to get access to comprehensive sexuality education, and objective information about the various forms of sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions, and sex characteristics that exist.
Under Prime Minister Victor Orbán and Fidesz’ rule, Hungary has gradually departed from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (in particular article 11 and 21) and the Treaty of the European Union (article 2 and 6), with disregard for international human rights law and protests from the international community.
– The adopted law has a clear similarity with the infamous Russian law against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations towards minors” from 2013, which has led to marginalization and stigma of LGBTI persons, and a sharp increase in hate motivated violence
Mina Skouen, The Norwegian Helsinki Committe
Norway and the EU should respond forcefully
– In this statement, we ask the European Commission should use available mechanisms to stop the law. This includes freezing of EU funding to Hungary, until the law is withdrawn, says Skouen.
Ine Eriksen Søreide, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, have already stated about the new law that “The decision is incompatible with universal values and Hungary’s human rights obligations”.
The undersigned organizations urge Norwegian authorities to bring this issue up with Hungary and make Norway’s position clear.
– We ask Norway to freeze the EEA and Norway grants until the law has been redrawn, as they are intended to spent in sectors that will be affected by the law, such as culture and education, says Skouen.
The allocation for Hungary amounts to EUR 214.6 million for the current period (lasting until 2024). Hungary is the third largest recipient of the funds.
– These funds should not be used to implement or uphold this discriminatory legislation.
Read the full statement here.
Photo by: Unsplash Keszthelyi Timi/Collage by NHC.