Advocacy statements

UPR statement on Hungary

  • Date / 2022
  • Location / Hungary
  • Relevant Institution / UN Human Rights Council
  • UN Item / Item 6: Universal Periodic Review

Oral statement

International Humanist and Ethical Union

UN Human Rights Council, 49th Session (28 February – 1 April 2022)

Item 6: UPR Outcome of Hungary


Thank you Mr President. I make this statement on behalf of Humanists International and the Hungarian Atheist Association.

Hungary has defended legal amendments[1] banning content that portrays diverse sexual orientations and gender identities as “taking action against ‘pedophiles” and protecting “children’s rights.”[2] In reality, the amendments are a direct attack on the rights and dignity of LGBTI+ people, including LGBTI+ children.

We remind Hungary that the parental right to have children educated according to their beliefs is not absolute;[3] it must be balanced with the child’s own rights, including their right to freedom of thought, equality, self-identity, and an inclusive education, including access to scientific knowledge, under the CRC.

We deeply regret that Hungary has not accepted recommendations to address hate speech against minorities. State officials continue to vilify minorities, in particular migrants, Roma, the non-religious, and LGBTI+ people. By way of example, during the UPR, the Minister stated that Hungary considers migrants a danger to the country’s “security, culture and health”. Such rhetoric is deliberately employed by the State to justify discriminatory practices, including, for example, the criminalization of asylum seekers and activists working on their behalf,[4] or the systemic failure to address the exclusion of Roma pupils from Church-run schools.[5]

These rights violations are facilitated by a shrinking space for freedom of expression and an erosion of secularism. A repressive media law, which states that public broadcasters should seek to promote “family values”, has been used to harass those who question the State’s exclusivist national identity. János Hrutka and Viktor Lukács were unlawfully dismissed after expressing support for LGBTI+ families,[6] while I myself was fired, and received death threats, because I questioned the practice of child baptism in a newspaper article.[7]

We urge the Hungarian government not to use “traditional values” as a pretext for undermining human rights and to reconsider its rejection of recommendations on addressing discrimination and upholding freedom of expression for all.


[1] With the adoption of amendments to the Child Protection Act, the Family Protection Act, the Act on Business Advertising Activity, the Media Act and the Public Education Act, any depiction or discussion of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations in schools, television, and advertising in Hungary will be outlawed.

[2] “The Hungarian Government does not accept recommendations 128.42, 128.44–47, 128.49, 128.50, 128.51, 128.56, 128.83, 128.84, 128.87, 128.91, 128.94, 128.221 and 128.226. Act LXXIV of 2021 on heightened actions against pedophile perpetrators and on the protection of children does not intend to single out or discriminate anyone, as that would go against the Fundamental Law.”

[3] ICCPR, Art. 18 (4))

[4] https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/09/1018962

[5] http://www.errc.org/news/hungary-a-short-history-of-segregation

[6] https://444.hu/2021/03/23/nem-kozvetit-tobbet-az-mtva-nal-a-sportriporter-aki-lajkolta-gulacsi-peter-a-csalad-az-csalad-posztjat

[7] https://humanists.international/case-of-concern/gaspar-bekes/

Suggested academic reference

'UPR statement on Hungary', Humanists International

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