In March 2013 a series of negotiations started that included representatives of the Bicske refugees with the help of the Migrant Solidarity Group, Menedék association, and the Immigration office to solve their housing problems and find a reasonable plan for moving out for the refugees currently living inside the camp. Unfortunately due to Immigration office’s unworkable and irresponsible ‘solution’ – homeless shelters for refugees – the negotiations stopped and threats of eviction started again.
Families with small children are not allowed to stay in homeless shelters, only in special homes for families, but the Immigration Office never gave clear numbers how much space there is in such homes for families – we can only guess that the number is not enough. During this time, the Immigration office has stopped issuing monthly allowances and support, medical care, and much needed travel passes for these refugees. In early June 2013, 71 refugees left Hungary to Germany and re-applied for asylum for humanitarian reasons.
The refugees who stayed in Hungary to try to solve their many problems found no solution either – no success was found as the Immigration Office washed its hands out of the situation and no further discussions or negotiations took place.
Among those who are currently threatened with eviction are also families with small children. No alternative accommodation is being provided. These families have attempted to find housing in Budapest with little success, and with minimal support from the Immigration Office. The money support which is given to the refugees in Hungary is not enough to rent a flat in Budapest – the city where refugees still have the most chance for integration and the least chance to be discriminated against. The lack of money support sheds light on the need for cheap social housing for refugees which should be the state’s obligation to provide for them.
We wish to draw the attention of the public to this cruel and inhumane tactic of forcing families with small children and single refugees into the street. We wish to re-establish a dialogue with the different stakeholders, including the OIN, in order to find a reasonable and adequate solution. Concerned about the violations of international and domestic law, as well as the negative impact on the health and wellbeing of the families affected, the MigSzol is urging the Hungarian authorities to call off the planned eviction and to find a lasting, adequate housing solution for all refugees. At last, we would like to emphasize that the refugees have not stayed in Bicske because of a supposed ‘unwillingness’ to move out: but rather because the process of moving out has been made extremely difficult and bureaucratic by the Immigration Office.