Russian-Ukrainian war

Fidesz-affiliated recruitment company sees business opportunity in the Ukrainian refugee crisis

In centers hosting refugees from Ukraine, a private company is advertising it website offering “housing for work” schemes to refugees. The leaders of the company are connected to the football team MTK and have numerous financial ties to the Orbán government. The company can advertise in the tightly controlled refugee centers even though officially, asylum authorities report no cooperation with them.

“Welcome to Hungary! If you need a job and accommodation, please call one of our phone numbers below.” This text can be read in Hungarian and Ukrainian on posters displayed in one of the refugee transit centers in Eastern Hungary. The advertisements promote a website called, where visitors are redirected to a Ukrainian-language site and the website of the company Prohumán 2004 Ltd. The site is also running registration points in the shelters.

The government’s strategic partner is recruiting

While the site appears to be official, it does not belong to a government agency or aid organisation, but a for-profit HR company. Prohumán 2004 Labour Services and Consultancy Ltd. is one of the leading Hungarian temporary employment agencies, which in 2020 signed a strategic agreement with the Hungarian government.

The 2020 contract was signed by Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary.

Szijjártó explained the signing by saying that “temporary employment agencies and recruitment agencies can play a significant role in economic recovery, and the Government is counting on their contribution and experience.”

The name of the managing director of Prohumán Ltd, Sándor Zakor, may be familiar to most people from the Budapest MTK football club. Zakor has long been a member of the board of the joint-stock company that runs the football club, and in 2017 he became its CEO – a position he took over from Fidesz politician Tamás Deutsch. Two years later, Sándor Zakor acquired sole ownership of the club. Despite this, Tamás Deutsch was not ousted from the team, remaining president of the club, and in 2021 he was appointed president for another five-year term.

Connections of the companies involved with

Around the same time, Zakor’s companies have been successful in public procurement: last year, for example, his Brightly advertising agency was awarded over 850 million for various government projects.  Another one of his companies, Protocall 2009 Web- und Telemarketing Kft., signed a contract last year worth more than HUF 185 million with the state energy provider to provide telephone customer service.

Privacy issues for refugees

The presence of an HR company in the transit centers is surprising because generally entrance to the centers is strictly regulated. Apart from the public television, no media representatives were allowed to enter, and even members of an aid organization were barred from entering.

We called the number given in the advertisements and asked if they could help refugees with housing. In response, they gave us a telephone number saying that we could use that number to enquire about housing. The operator actually gave us the number of the government’s free public refugee helpline (06-80/310-310). When asked about employment, he replied: they are mainly looking for employees for factories, especially those who speak several languages.

On another occasion, we asked specifically about employment on the line, which the operator called a “help line”. On this occasion, we were asked to dictate our details by phone (we were refused to give our details in writing), which would be sent to the ‘centre’ and then called back in a few days.

Despite asking multiple times, the operator refused to disclose where the refugees’ personal data would be sent.

All they said was that the “Safe in Hungary Campaign” or unnamed “colleagues” would receive the personal data entered over the phone. This raises privacy concerns, as in addition to name, contact details and education, data such as the mother’s maiden name and health information are also requested.

The line also said that they can offer jobs to people who do not yet have official status (refugee status or citizenship) in Hungary, and that they can help them to obtain such status.

No formal cooperation on immigration

Even stranger is that, when asked by Átlátszó, the press department of the National Directorate General of Aliens Police replied that they are “not in contact with the site”. The National Directorate General for Disaster Management, which is also involved in the operation of the transit shelters, also replied to Átlátszó’s question that they are not involved in the operation of the website.

Contradicting this, the director of Prohuman Ltd., Csongor Juhász, said to Atlatszo that they coordinate their work with the government.  “The (Safe in Hungary) initiative was started by us,

Prohuman, and later the government noticed our initiative as a kind of “good practice”, as a working example.

As a result, we are currently coordinating our activities with the government and its supporting institutions, in addition to humanitarian organizations, and we are trying to help,” he wrote in an e-mail.

The football connection

The registration data of shows that the domain was registered by József Dávid Szabó. According to his LinkedIn profile, holds positions at MTK and Prohumán Kft., the former as head of international relations and the latter as strategic director.

Dávid József Szabó is known to the public primarily as a political analyst: in recent years he has been interviewed on several occasions by public media and other pro-government media as a guest “talking head” and has been presented as a researcher at Fidesz-affiliated research firm Századvég and as the strategic director of the similarly aligned 21st Century Institute.

Dávid József Szabó

In 2018, for example, he sharply criticized the UN migration package for encouraging economic migration, and in 2020, he lashed out at “Soros’ Brussels allies” and “migrant-securing NGOs” over the EU reconstruction fund.  And a year earlier, he spoke at a panel discussion on migration at the Tusnádfürdő Free University (reported by the 21st Century Institute under the title Fighting immigration: on land, on water, in the polling booth and in the human mind).

Szabó spoke out explicitly against cross-border employment, saying that “immigration in the EU” is driven by a range of interests, including “the business interests of global tech companies, which at one point seemed to coincide with the hunger for labor in German manufacturing”.

Registered before the war

The only link available to workers on is to a Ukrainian-language site offering jobs in Hungary ( According to the domain details, the site was registered well before the war, in December 2021.

This alone shows that the site was not registered to help people fleeing the war.

According to the description here, the site is linked to the Berehovo recruitment office of Service Flow Ltd, another member of the Prohumán group, and aims to outsource Ukrainian workers to companies in Hungary.

The managing director of Service Flow, Maximilian Finfera, like Sándor Zakor, is also a member of the MTK board and is the team’s sales director. He is also a very successful public procurer: at the end of last year, the Modern Educational Tools Trading Ltd. he runs was awarded a contract worth nearly half a billion forints by the Governmental Information Technology Development Agency to set up “IT experience and demonstration centres” and received nearly 200 million for “professional training of digital knowledge centres” under the Digital Well-being Programme.

Written and translated by Zalán Zubor, the Hungarian version of this story is available here. Cover photo: Safe in Hungary (Facebook screenshot)

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