07 June 2016
Refugees fleeing war, terror and persecution have to queue for days or weeks at the entrance of the EU, on the Serbian-Hungarian border, without food, drinking water, shelter or sanitary facilities, while Hungarian authorities arbitrarily deny them access to EU territory and asylum procedures. The Hungarian Helsinki Committee visited the two transit zones at this border section and gathered first-hand information about the situation of refugees queuing to submit their asylum claims in Hungary.
The attached short report describes what seems to be a consolidated effort of Hungarian authorities to limit the number of asylum-seekers entering the country and, in the process, create another bottleneck in Europe for people in need of international protection. While there is only a minuscule number of people admitted daily into Hungary, this is not correlated with the number of arrivals and the growing size of the make-shift camp appearing at the Serbian-Hungarian border. Large numbers of families and children still have to wait for several days in a place which does not even have the most basic conditions for human stay. The lack of information about the procedures, limited assistance and harassment by the Serbian police makes the lives of those waiting stressful and filled with uncertainty.