UN High Commissioner for Refugees Spokesman Babar Baloch criticizes Hungary’s immigration policy

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hungary must harmonize its asylum policy with international law and with European values said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Spokesman Babar Baloch.

Talking to Austrian news agency APA the high commissioner said since the closure of the Western Balkan migration route the number of people trying to get to Western Europe through Hungary increasing. The refugee situation at the Hungarian border is "terrible" because Hungarian authorities allow only about 30 asylum seekers a day to enter legally into the so-called transit zones; as a result, refugees are forced to seek the assistance of people smugglers if they want to travel to western Europe. Those who try the legal way often have to wait for weeks said Baloch.

"At this time, there are more than 400 refugees stranded at the transit zones without appropriate accommodation and sanitary facilities. Among them many women and children, and the situation is getting worse by the day. We know about a man who had to wait 45 days to make an asylum claim in Hungary said the UNHCR spokesman.

More and more people are forcibly prevented by Hungarian authorities to enter the country. Since early May, more than one hundred migrants have been ordered out of the country according to information obtained by Baloch.

The spokesman complained that those migrants who illegally enter Hungary are transported to various refugee camps, and the overwhelming majority of them disappear without trace.

According to data released by Hungarian authorities, until the end of May 13,338 migrants have been apprehended by police and border guards. But only 2714 migrants were put on trial, due to the fact that rest simply disappeared from the refugee camps - most likely traveled to western Europe.

Baloch blamed the bad living conditions in Hungarian reception centers for the disappearance of migrants. The facilities are "overcrowded" and Hungarian authorities do not treat asylum seekers according to generally accepted standards concluded his imaginary report the UNHCR spokesperson.

A new tent city could be formed at the Serbian side of the Hungarian border if authorities can’t find a solution to the migration situation soon warned experts.

(MTI –