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Central European University Suspends Program for Asylum Seekers

An education program aimed at giving asylum seekers and refugees in Hungary a new start is the first casualty of the government’s most recent anti-immigrant measures. This week, the Central European University (CEU) suspended…
People in Budapest protest a draft law targeting Central European University, Hungary, April 4, 2017.
News
With independent media largely silenced or taken over, the courts increasingly curbed, and a parliament firmly under the control of the newly re-elected Fidesz ruling party, Hungary’s nongovernmental groups are the most effective…
Protesters attend a rally against Hungarian government's clampdown on a top foreign university and non-government organisations in Budapest, Hungary, May 21, 2017.
News

Law Could Jail People Who Provide Services, Advice to Migrants

Hungary’s Parliament passed a law that not only makes it almost impossible to seek asylum in Hungary, but also makes it a crime to help migrants and refugees. If signed into law by Hungarian President Janos Ader, starting…
Members of the Hungarian government vote on the 'Stop Soros' package of bills that criminalises some help given to illegal immigrants, at the Parliament in Budapest, Hungary, June 20, 2018.
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Last week, the European People's Party (EPP) had a chance to stand up for its values and those of the European Union. But instead, it ducked the issue. The umbrella group of center-right and Christian democrat parties in European…
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban before a photo at the European Union Tallinn Digital Summit in Tallinn, Estonia, September 29, 2017.
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Proposed Constitutional Amendment Limits Asylum Access

(Budapest) – A revised draft bill published by the Hungarian government on May 29, 2018, would criminalize efforts to help migrants and asylum seekers and curb their access to protection, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill the…
An anti-immigration poster by Viktor Orban's Fidesz party during Hungary's April 2018 elections, April 8, 2018, Gyongyos, Hungary.
News

Withdraw ‘Stop Soros’ Measures; Halt Curbs on Rights Groups

(Budapest) – The Hungarian government submitted three bills to parliament on February 13, 2018 that would penalize and restrict groups working on asylum and migration issues, Human Rights Watch said today. The bills cast helping a person…
People protest in Heroes’ square against a new law that would undermine Central European University, a liberal graduate school of social sciences founded by U.S. financier George Soros in Budapest, Hungary, April 12, 2017.
News

EU Commission’s Silence Undermining the Rights of Migrants

Migration was high on the agenda when the EU’s migration commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, visited Budapest last week. But, after lengthy discussions with Hungary’s justice and interior ministers, his public remarks after the meeting on 28 March…
Migrants walk along Hungary's border fence on the Serbian side of the border near Morahalom, Hungary, February 22, 2016
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EU Should Seek To Halt Plan to Hold Asylum Seekers in Transit Zones

Update: On March 7, 2017, the Hungarian parliament approved the law, 138 to 6 with 22 abstentions. The law will come into force 8 days after it is signed by the Hungarian president. (Budapest) – A draft bill proposed by the Hungarian government…
A refugee washes clothes on the Hungary-Serbia border, on the Serbian side of a transit zone set up by Hungarian authorities to filter refugees at Roszke, Hungary, September 2, 2016.
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Dimitris Avramopoulos Commissioner Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship European Commission Rue de La Roi 200 1049 1049 Brussels Belgium dimitris.avramopoulos@ec.europa.eu…
News

Serbia, Hungary Leave People Without Adequate Shelter as Winter Hits Hard

While many in Serbia prepare for Orthodox Christmas, others in the country and neighboring Hungary are bedding down in freezing cold weather hoping to survive. Temperatures in Hungary and Serbia have dropped to minus 20 degrees centigrade at night.…
Asylum seekers and migrants living in appalling conditions in abandoned warehouses behind Belgrade train station, Serbia. November 22, 2016.
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Ensure Prompt Asylum Process; Probe Excessive Force Allegations

(Budapest) – Hungary is keeping many of the most vulnerable asylum seekers stranded on its border in poor conditions for weeks while they wait to enter the country and file their claims. Some said that border officials had used…
Migrants rest as a policeman watches them near Hungary's border fence on the Serbian side of the border near Morahalom, Hungary, February 22, 2016.
News
“What crime did we commit for 40 police officers to surround us? It’s like they think we are terrorists or criminals,” 48-year old Khatoon, a Yazidi woman from Iraq who had several family members who were murdered or taken hostage by ISIS, told me. For a…
News
“What crime did we commit for 40 police officers to surround us? It’s like they think we are terrorists or criminals,” 48-year old Khatoon, a Yazidi woman from Iraq who had several family members who were murdered or taken hostage by the jihadist group…
News

Ensure Asylum Access; Investigate Cruel, Violent Pushbacks

(Budapest) – Migrants at Hungary’s border are being summarily forced back to Serbia, in some cases with cruel and violent treatment, without consideration of their claims for protection, Human Rights Watch said today. New…
Asylum seekers in Roszke waiting for days and weeks to be admitted to the transit zone, Hungary, March 31, 2016.
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“We live like dogs here…We sleep on the ground with our children on our laps…and we only received biscuits.” When I spoke to 27-year old “Khadiya” from Syria, three-months pregnant and travelling with her husband and two children, aged five and…
Asylum seekers in Roszke waiting for days to be admitted to the transit zone, Hungary, March 31, 2016.
News
The Hungarian government today dealt yet another blow to asylum seekers and migrants by declaring a state of emergency throughout the entire country due to “mass migration.” The decision follows a similar declaration on September 16, 2015, imposing a…
Migrants walk along Hungary's border fence on the Serbian side of the border near Morahalom, Hungary, February 22, 2016
News

Long Detention, Poor Conditions, Little Help for Vulnerable People

(Budapest) – Hungary is detaining vulnerable asylum seekers and migrants under its new border regime for weeks at a time, sometimes in poor conditions, Human Rights Watch said today. In October 2015, Human Rights Watch was granted access to five…
2015-12-eca-hungary-refugees
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“Please, I had no other choice. I’m a sick woman and I haven’t done anything so bad as to deserve this. I just want to reunite with my husband and sons in Germany. I ran away from bombs that destroyed our house in the village.” Laila, a 60-year…
Hungary border migrants