The Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) has commented on the adoption of amendments to Hungarian asylum legislation, which entered into force on 1 July 2013, in an Information Note.

According to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, the amendments introduce a separate detention regime for asylum seekers, seriously weaken provisions for the judicial review of immigration and asylum detention and the right to appeal in asylum procedures, as well as failing to ensure adequate reception conditions.

HHC regrets the extensive grounds permitted for detaining asylum seekers, which it is concerned will lead to the widespread use of detention. The amendment includes the possibility to detain asylum seeking families with children for up to 30 days, which HHC argues is contrary to the principles of the best interest of the child. Under the amended legislation unaccompanied asylum seeking children in Hungary will not be detained.

HHC also expresses serious concerns that civil society organisations and UNHCR were not given enough time to examine and comment on the proposed amendments before they were past, and nor was an appropriate impact assessment carried out.

HHC will continue to monitor the implementation of the legislation, and calls on UNHCR, the European Commission and EU Member States to do likewise.



This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 05 July 2013
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