HRC49: UPR 39 Hungary statement

Human Rights Council - 49th Session

Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review- Hungary

Action Canada for Population and Development

Thank you, Mr President.

Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of People Opposing Patriarchy Association and the Sexual Rights Initiative.

We regret that Hungary noted the sole recommendation it received on comprehensive sexuality education and that it did not receive any recommendations on access to safe abortion and contraception. Hungary is one of the few countries in the European Union in which emergency contraception is only available with a prescription. We call on Hungary to make emergency contraception available without prescription and to subsidise access to contraception.

Additionally, compulsory counselling prior to abortion must be abolished, or as a minimum first step - the content and practice of counselling must stop violating pregnant women’s dignity. Instead, it should provide balanced and scientifically correct information to support each pregnant woman in making an informed decision rather than to manipulate and humiliate her. We call on Hungary to ensure access to safe abortion - including medical abortion.

Similarly, obstetric violence including painful, unnecessary and intrusive interventions and humiliating treatment must also be eliminated. Unnecessary and non-consensual interventions, and disrespectful treatment, are extremely common. We call on Hungary to put in place accountability mechanisms and protocols to safeguard pregnant women’s human rights.

We call on Hungary to provide a comprehensive sexuality and relationship education curriculum that is equality-oriented: focuses on mutual consent, aims to prevent intimate partner and sexual violence, and supports informed sexual and reproductive decisions for girls and women of all ages, and also emphasises boys’ and men’s responsibility in preventing STIs and using contraception.  The “education for family life” curriculum currently in place entrenches harmful gender stereotypes. Hungary must stop the reinforcement of such stereotypes.

Thank you.