United Nations, New York. The UN has taken steps to discourage European nations from returning migrants to Hungary.
The United Nations refugee agency has taken the rare step of urging EU members to suspend return of asylum seekers to Hungary. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees criticised Hungary’s new policy of systematically placing migrants in containers and expelling any migrants who do not hold the proper papers.
UN officials announced that since a tough new law took effect on March 28, Hungary’s government has detained 110 people including children, in “shipping containers surrounded by high razor fences at the border” while their asylum cases are reviewed.
UNHCR Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, stated the situation for asylum seekers in Hungary was already a concern before the measures, and “has only gotten worse since the new law introducing mandatory detention for asylum seekers came into effect.”
Budapest’s actions shine a new spotlight on Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban’s government, which has faced scorn from UN agencies and advocacy groups over its tough policies on migrants, even though its populist message has resonated in the country and elsewhere in the West.
The EU rule known as the Dublin Regulation holds that any asylum seekers should have their cases processed in the first country of the bloc that they enter, and should be returned there if necessary. UN officials urged EU countries to suspend transfer of asylum seekers to Hungary “until the Hungarian authorities bring their practices and policies in line with European and international law,” according to a statement from his office.
Hungary’s new migrant rules call for all asylum seekers over the age of 14 to be placed in one of two container camps on Hungary’s border with Serbia until their asylum claims are decided. The Budapest government says they are free to leave the camps and return to Serbia at any time.
The Orban administration has been in the vanguard of stopping illegal immigration and migrant invasion with border fences and hyper security robust responses, designed to secure its borders and repulse large numbers of asylum seekers.