“Human rights violations in Hungary have a negative effect on the whole protection system and the rule of law. They must be addressed as a matter of urgency,” says Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, in a report published today on her visit to Hungary in February 2019. The report focuses on the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees; human rights defenders and civil society, independence of the judiciary; and gender equality and women’s rights.
The Commissioner finds that the government’s stance against immigration and asylum seekers has resulted in a legislative framework which undermines the reception of asylum seekers and the integration of recognised refugees. The Commissioner calls on the government to repeal the decreed “crisis situation due to mass immigration” which is not justified by the number of asylum seekers currently entering Hungary and the EU and urges the authorities to refrain from using anti-migrant rhetoric and campaigns which fan xenophobic attitudes.
The Commissioner observes that asylum seekers are constrained to exercise their right to apply for international protection in two transit zones along the fenced Hungarian-Serbian border where very few persons are allowed to enter. She urges the government to extend access to the international protection procedure and to ensure that the protection needs of all asylum seekers present on the territory can be assessed. “The government should repeal the new inadmissibility ground for asylum which has resulted in practically systematic rejection of asylum applications. I am also deeply concerned about repeated reports of excessive use of violence by the police during forcible removals of foreign nationals.”