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Viktoria Sebhelyi

Hungary , Class of 2017

Viktoria Sebhelyi

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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.

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