Currently there are over a hundred refugees (single people and families) whose official time in the camp has ended. These refugees protested in front of the Parliament in November 2012, and also in February 2013 in front of the European Union Delegation in Hungary (EU Ház) to call the attention of the responsible authorities, primarily the Immigration and Nationality Office (OIN), and the Ministry of Interior to the danger of homelessness that awaits them after their time in the Bicske Refugee Camp.
All refugees residing in the Bicske refugee camp have wanted, and still want, to leave the camp voluntarily. However, due to the limitations of the laws originally designed to help refugees to find housing and also due to the incompetence of the authorities, these refugees of Hungary, who have been suffering from multiple disadvantages, have not been able to leave and start an independent life.
After these protests, the representatives of OIN offered accommodation at homeless shelters to the refugees. However, after the refugees did not accept these offers, the authorities threatened that the police would forcibly evict them from the camp, and the children would be taken away from their refugee parents by the Hungarian state authorities.
The Migrant Solidarity Group has requested the help of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in order to prevent the forcing of the refugees into homelessness and the tearing apart of the families. With the contribution of the UNHCR, the authorities let the refugees stay in the camp. However, their money allowances and their medical help was taken away from them.
As a result of the OIN’s incompetence the refugees have not been able to leave the camp without adequate housing solutions, even while more and more refugees have been transferred intto the Bicske camp. Furthermore, not only refugees (with state recognised status), but also asylum-seekers have been recently transferred to Bicske camp – instead of the Debrecen camp where asylum seekers have previously placed. The situation today is now chaotic: total confusion reigns, asylum-seekers are sleeping in the Bicske camp sport hall, dozens of people must share a single kitchen and a bathroom. Some of the rules which regulate the reception conditions of refugees are no longer valid and the new camp rules are difficult to follow, even by the state workers of the camp.
Hungarian parliamentarians intend to ‘repair’ this chaos with the following inhumane laws:
- from 1 July, 2013, asylum-seekers will be criminalised. The Office of Immigration and Nationality would have power to place them into detention for up to 6 months. The only ‘reason’ for this rule is to deter those from applying for refugee protection in Hungary.
- the “pre-integration” time spent in the Bicske camp would be limited to 2 months. Migrant Solidarity Group does not believe it possible to ‘integrate’ into Hungarian society and have a independent life after 2 months at Bicske camp.
- the already extremely short time left for legal appeal against a negative asylum-decision – 15 days – will be shortened to 8 days. Again, the only ‘reason’ for this new change is to make the asylum-seekers’ chances of successfully legally challenging a negative decision by the OIN even less possible.
Therefore, the members of the Migrant Solidarity Group would like to invite all to join us in front of the Ministry of Interior on the 2nd of June, 2013 at 3:30 pm to express their opposition to the inhumane laws that violate human rights and to express that, unlike the government, there are people in Hungary who are happy to accept refugees because we want to create a livable society together with them.
Migráns Szolidaritás Csoport (Migrant Solidarity Group)