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Hungarian sociologist - Tdh staff - honoured as Trafficking in Persons Hero at US ceremony


Source: US Department of State

Each year, the Department of State honors individuals around the world who have devoted their lives to the fight against human trafficking. These individuals are NGO workers, lawmakers, police officers, and concerned citizens who are committed to ending modern slavery. They are recognized for their tireless efforts—despite resistance, opposition, and threats to their lives—to protect victims, punish offenders, and raise awareness of ongoing criminal practices in their countries and abroad.
This year Secretary of State Tillerson hosted the launch of the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report on June 27th together with the President's Advisor Ivanka Trump. The ceremony included the honouring of 8 TIP heroes from around the world. Ms Viktoria Sebhelyi - currently working at Terre des hommes Regional Office - was honoured with the prize in recognition of her groundbreaking academic contributions to reveal prevalence of child sex trafficking in Hungary, her ability to bring together government and civil society organisations to improve victim identification and services and her dedication to increasing awareness and understanding of human trafficking.

During the ceremony Secretary of Sate Tillerson also unveiled the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report.


Viktoria Sebhelyi's laudation:

Viktoria Sebhelyi is a Hungarian sociologist and human rights activist whose groundbreaking research has been instrumental in increasing awareness and understanding of human trafficking among policymakers and NGO service providers in Hungary. Known as both an academic expert on the issue and a dedicated advocate, Ms. Sebhelyi has galvanized government and NGO actors to collaborate on enhancing protections for victims.

She worked as a researcher and legal analyst between 2013 and 2015 at the Central European University’s Center for Policy Studies, writing a report on the prevalence and characteristics of child sex trafficking in Hungary—the first of its kind.

In addition to her academic work, Ms. Sebhelyi collaborates with Hungarian initiatives to improve the country’s referral system. She has successfully brought together government officials and civil society actors to address structural challenges affecting vulnerable populations and increase the effectiveness of identifying and providing services for victims of trafficking and abuse, especially women and children. She regularly dedicates her time volunteering for women’s and human rights NGOs (NANE Women’s Rights Association, Sex Education Foundation, and Hungarian Women’s Lobby) and domestic violence shelters, as well as in state institutions to increase the effectiveness of the anti-trafficking referral system.


More information

US Department of State