The number of people seeking asylum in Hungary, including accompanied or unaccompanied minors, increased rapidly since the beginning of 2015 with more than 60 000 people entering Hungary in the first six months of the year. In the past few days, the reception conditions worsened significantly as thousands of desperate people crossed the Serbian-Hungarian border fleeing persecution and violence to gain protection in Europe.
According to reports, children and families have been waiting for hours without food, water, access to health care or basic sanitation.
A hundred refugee children and their family members have been detained by the Hungarian police near the southern frontier city of Szeged. The minors spent hours on the territory of the border police outpost, waiting to be transferred. The conditions are humane, but the police is not prepared to provide food and basic treatment such as medicine and painkillers for infants.
While a number of local organizations and activists are mobilizing and have been providing those arriving in slippers with shoes, food for the hungry, water for the thirsty, mattresses for the dead-tired and provide them with some information as well, “Hope For Children” UNCRC Policy Center remains deeply concerned by the Hungarian government’s response including the planned construction of a 4-meter high and 175km-long fence at Serbian border.
Despite Hungary’s current economic situation, we call upon the Hungarian government to find sustainable solutions, provide protection these vulnerable people and respect its obligations under international law and uphold the rights of children as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child without discrimination of any kind.
No minor in Hungary should be put behind bars even for an hour or two.