Most importantly, see here for the information leaflet prepared by the Hungarian Helsinki committee. It is available in ten languages, and we would like to stress that the HHC is the number one source for updates on the legal situation of people on the move. We also recommend you to follow the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (@hhc_helsinki) and Migszol Csoport (@migszolcsop) on Twitter. We also recommend the new report on the general situation of Hungary as a country of asylum, published by UNHCR in May 2016.
Overview and numbers
While there are record number of people crossing into Europe again via the Mediterranean, we would like to note that the Balkan route has practically not been closed. The number of people coming through the route is much less than in 2015, but there is a still a very severe situation. Serbia is the nodal point for people on the Balkan route, and as the border between Croatia and Serbia remains closed for people seeking protection, the only possibility they have is to enter to Hungary. Because the number of people who are allowed to seek asylum in the official transit zone is very limited, many people continue crossing the border fence. Subsequently, people are either transported to open camps in Hungary, to asylum or immigration detention centers (depending on whether they ask for asylum or not). Those people who manage to apply for asylum in the transit zone either have an inadmissibility decision based on the fact that Serbia is a safe third country and are expelled from Hungary, or then they are considered vulnerable and transferred to open camps or detention centers in Hungary. We have testimonies for cases in which people have been beaten up, robbed and pushed back at Hungarian-Serbian border. For details of what happens in the border, we recommend the aforementioned UNHCR report. Open camps in Hungary are severely overcrowded. In the camps and detention centers the conditions remain very bad. People report that they are overcrowded and that the access to legal support is extremely limited, if not non existent. In some cases, people we speak to are reporting that they are not told of access to lawyers even though there are lawyers present. Also the general and legal situation in Hungary worsens even more: a bill has been passed that tightens the material conditions of refugees extremely as outlined by Migszol earlier, the referendum about the acceptance of the EU quota system will take place in early autumn, the right-wing propaganda continues and disproportionate/illegal punishments and trials for refugees accused of starting a riot in Roszke in 2015 are still happening.
There are ca. 290 people on a daily basis at the transit zones., while 491 people were registered to enter illegally into Hungary and were apprehended in Hungary in between May 6th and 12th according to the border police.1330 people arrived in Austria in between May 6th and 12th according to UNHCR, and in the meanwhile Austria is planning an extremely tight asylum legislation that will most likely have severe effects on Hungary as well.