UNHCR airs concerns about Hungaryʼs refugee treatment once again


LaMography / Moni Lazar

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed significant concerns regarding the treatment of refugees at the Serbian-Hungarian border in an article published yesterday.

Refugees at Budapestʼs Keleti Railway Station a year ago waiting to board trains bound for Germany. (Photo: LaMography / Moni Lazar)

The UNHCR said in the piece, entitled “Fearing rejection in Hungary’s cold comfort transit zones”, that several hundred refugees in poor physical and mental conditions are waiting for entry into the European Union and are forced to camp out at the two transit zones established by the Hungarian government.  

“We remain concerned about Hungary’s restrictive approaches and the dire situation asylum-seekers face outside the transit zones. Currently, only 15-17 people are admitted daily at each zone, leaving hundreds to suffer day and night without any proper support at the EU border,” the article attributed to Samar Mazloum, the head of the UNHCR’s field office in the border town of Szeged, said.

“The current approach makes it very easy for human-traffickers to further exploit desperate refugees and pushes them to take more dangerous routes when legal ways are shut,” the article added.

The UNHCR highlighted the many families who have been separated during their journey through Turkey, Bulgaria, and Serbia, who dream of reuniting within the borders of the EU.

The UNHCR’s criticisms in the article came shortly after a Hungarian government pushback at the border allegedly resulted in the death of a 22-year-old Syrian man.


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