The Hungarian government continued its harsh anti-refugee policies in 2016. The legislative and policy changes implemented during 2016 were all in line with the Hungarian government’s aims and intentions to dismantle the country’s asylum system and deter people in need of international protection from seeking refuge in Hungary.
A draft bill proposed by the Hungarian government would allow the authorities to automatically detain asylum seekers in transit zones and to summarily return asylum seekers to the Serbian border from anywhere in Hungary, Human Rights Watch and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee said in a February 24 letter to the European Commission calling for it to intervene.
On 14 February, the Hungarian government has submitted to Parliament a package of amendments to five acts. These proposed legal changes, which are extreme and flagrant violations of European Union asylum law and European and international human rights standards and European values, warrant an immediate and definite response by the European Commission and other EU institutions.