Prime Minister Viktor Orbán suggested on the floor of Parliament Monday that the best way to combat violence against women was by preventing migration, mno.hu reports.
Ildikó Borbély, a Socialist MP, demanded in a session of the National Assembly Monday that Hungary ratify the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Borbély asked Orbán whether statements by Fidesz vice-president Szilárd Németh that Hungary would not ratify the convention as long as Fidesz was in power were true.
“The Hungarian government firmly rejects any form of violence against women and is committed to the elimination of abuse,” Orbán answered, and suggested that punishments for abuse are far harsher under his government than they were while the Socialists were in power.
Dissatisfied, Borbély once again demanded the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, and asked Orbán whether he had ever looked into the eyes of a woman who had been beaten by her husband. To this Orbán answered that Hungarian and European culture is built upon respect for women, but that now “millions of migrants” are arriving in Europe who are violent and do not respect women.
Orbán told Borbély to “help the government so we can protect Hungary and Europe from migration, and this way we can do the most to combat violence against women.”
Hungary is one of several states to have signed but not ratified the Istanbul Convention. States which ratify the Convention must criminalize several offences, including psychological violence, stalking, physical violence and sexual violence. The Convention states that sexual harassment must be subject to “criminal or other legal sanction.”