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Hungary confronts record migrant influx

Posted in World

Published on August 28, 2015 with No Comments

·        Plans for helicopters, mounted police, dogs on border

·        Record numbers enter from Serbia

  • Explaining refugee, asylum seeker and migrant 
  • The terms refugee, asylum seeker and migrant are often used interchangeably to describe people on the move but there are major differences and different requirements regarding their treatment. These differences are explained below:
  • Who is a refugee? A refugee is a person who has left his or her own country fearing persecution because of race, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, according to the United Nations. Refugees have no protection from their own state. It can be their own government that is threatening to persecute them. Recognition as a refugee provides protection under international laws and conventions, mainly the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, and support from the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) with food, shelter and safety.
  • …asylum seeker –An asylum seeker is someone seeking refugee status. They have fled their country in search of international protection. Those judged to be neither refugees nor in need of any other form of international protection can be sent back to their home countries.
  • …and a migrant –Migrants and refugees often travel in the same way but migrants choose to leave their country for reasons not related to persecution. They may want to study abroad, reunite with family, or improve the future economic prospects of themselves and their families. A migrant continues to enjoy the protection of his or her own government even when abroad. Refugees have to move to save their lives or preserve their freedom.

Hungary has made plans to reinforce its southern border with helicopters, mounted police and dogs, and was also considering using the army as record numbers of migrants, many of them Syrian refugees, passed through coils of razor-wire into Europe.

Over 2,500 mainly Syrians, Afghans and Pakistanis crossed from Serbia into the European Union on Wednesday , over, under or around a razor-wire barrier into the hands of an over-stretched police force that struggled to fingerprint and process them.

Unrest flared briefly at a crowded reception centre in the border region of Roszke, with tear gas fired. Another 1,300 were detained on Wednesday.

More will have passed unnoticed, walking through gaps in a border fence being built by Hungary into a Europe groping for answers to its worst refugee crisis since World War Two.

Hungary, which is part of Europe’s Schengen passport-free travel zone, is building a 3.5-metre high fence along its 175-km border with Serbia in a bid to keep them out, taking a hard line on what right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban says is a threat to European security, prosperity and identity.

Government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said parliament would debate next week whether to employ the army in the border effort.


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