UNHCR urges temporary suspension of asylum-seeker transfers to Hungary

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Asylum-seekers rest in their room in the Debrecen Reception Centre, Hungary. Photo: UNHCR/Béla Szandelszky

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is urging European states to temporarily suspend all transfers of asylum seekers to Hungary.

European Union (EU) member states determine which country is responsible for examining asylum applications through a provision known as the Dublin regulation.

The appeal made on Monday came in the wake of a new law in Hungary to detain all asylum-seekers which came into effect at the end of March.

Dianne Penn reports.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said his agency was already concerned about the situation of asylum-seekers in Hungary.

He said things "have only gotten worse" since the introduction of the law on mandatory detention for asylum-seekers.

As of last week, 110 people are being held in shipping containers at the border, according to UNHCR.

They include four unaccompanied children and children with their families.

Mr Grandi called for any Dublin regulation transfers to Hungary to be suspended "until the Hungarian authorities bring their practices and policies in line with European and international law."

The High Commissioner said he was "encouraged" by the European Commission's decision to work with the country to bring the new legislation in line with EU law.

However, he stated that "urgent measures are needed to improve access to asylum in Hungary."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 58″

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