Refugees Treatment

Unlawful Treatment of Refugees

Discriminatory and Unlawful Treatment of Refugees and Immigrants

The government of Hungary has recently implemented a number of very concerning measures against immigrants in the country and refugees seeking to enter it.

Construction of a razor-wire wall

In the summer of 2015, the government hastily ordered the construction of a razor-wire wall at its border with Serbia and introduced a law enabling the arrest and prosecution of any migrants attempting to get over the wall.

In September 2015, the Hungarian authorities reported that they had arrested 200 asylum seekers at their border.

Such measures are at odds with the necessary protection of the right to life but also with the right to seek asylum recognized in international law (like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its Protocol.)

Notably, most if not all of the camps which Hungary has designated for refugees have no UN High Commission for Refugees component.

Public survey on migration associating migrants with terrorists

Public survey on migration

Such international standards have also been threatened by the launch of a public consultation on immigration which contains “extremely biased” questions and a note from the Prime Minister associating migrants with terrorists. Prime Minister Orbán also suggested that illegal border crossers captured in Hungary were obliged to undertake forced labour. Hungarians have demonstrated in protest of the survey.

The survey (and its comments) threatens to violate international standards, and goes contrary to the EU spirit of non-discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity and religion.

Cecile Pouilly, a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, described the Office’s shock at the survey and the suggestion of a link between migrants and terrorism. Liberal members of the European Parliament in April 2015 urged the European Commission and EUmembers states to verify that the public consultation complied with EU values and laws. The Commission answered that there was no “systemic threat to the rule of law” in Hungary.

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