Hungary to detain asylum-seekers in border camps

  • Giorgio Sirtori
  • 31.3.2017 08:01

On March 28, a Hungarian law to detain asylum-seekers into two camps on the border with Serbia came into force. Hungary’s Interior Ministry said the policy “prevents migrants with an unclear status from moving freely around the territory of the country and the European Union”.

Until 2013, Hungary systematically detained asylum applicants, before ceding to international pressures and interrupting the measure. In 2015, Prime Minister Orbán installed a barrier over the 175 km of border with Serbia. Regarding the recent law,  European Commissioner in charge of migration issues, Dimitris Avramopoulos, was not alarmed as EU experts have been able to verify that camps comply with EU law. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) and many rights groups, like Amnesty International and Human Rights Group, criticised the manoeuvre citing that it fails to meet international obligations to asylum seekers. Orbán is expected to keep the refugee issue high on the agenda in the run-up to next year’s general elections.

About author: Giorgio Sirtori


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