Hungary > Overview

last update: May 2011

For many refugees and migrants Hungary is a transit country to Central and Northern Europe. Crossing the border (in the east via Ukraine, in the south from Greece via Serbia) a serious risk of illegal push-back (“refoulement”) is given, even if a person applies for asylum. A high percentage tries to continue the journey after having been registered. Many are later deported back to Hungary under the Dublin Regulation. In fact, the recognition rates for single groups (in particular Somalis) tend to be high in comparison to other European countries. This is, however, contrasted by the harsh social conditions.

The government implemented a stricter new asylum legislation in December 2010. It includes an extension of the maximum length of detention from up to 6 months now to 12 months. Almost without exception all asylum seekers and Dublin returnees are detained. Since the beginning of 2010 the detention capacities increased from 282 to approximately 700 detention places. Massive protests broke out at all of these detention centres all summer 2010. All this went almost unnoticed by the public.

The social and economical conditions are harsh. Recognised asylum seekers are only entitled to accommodation for 6 months, which can be extended by a further 6 months. Afterwards they are likely to face homelessness. Jobs are very difficult to find. Hungarian is one of the most difficult languages in Europe, access to language courses and other kind of education is often not given. Refugees (and in particular, traumatised refugees) are often unable to find the means to survive. Furthermore family reunifications are made de facto impossible especially for Somalis by the non-recognition of Somali passports or any substitute documents.

Unaccompanied minor refugees have so far been accommodated in Bicske. In the future, they will be accommodated in ordinary children’s homes, presumably in the "Children Village" in Fot. In some cases even minors have been (illegally) detained as well. In many cases their dates of birth were altered.


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