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Hungary Immigration Detention

Hungary is often characterized as an important transit country for migrants attempting to reach Western Europe. However, in its most recent reports, the EU border control agency Frontex does not mention Hungary as being one of the major migrant crossing points into the EU. An important source of international migrants in the country has been Afghanistan, with Afghan nationals fleeing the conflict in their country making up more than 40 percent of asylum seekers in 2012. Yet, at the same time, Hungary has systematically detained people seeking international protection. In fact, the country appears to be one of the only EU countries to set up a wholly separate detention regime for asylum seekers, adopting grounds of detention that are specific to those seeking asylum and establishing a separate detention facility for them. In June 2013, it transposed the EU (Recast) Reception Conditions Directive, even before the Directive had been formally adopted and promulgated. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) criticized the country for adopting the Directive in a selective manner, focusing on detention-related provisions while leaving aside provisions on the needs of vulnerable persons.

Hungary Quick Facts

  • Immigration detainees:
    1,424
    Detained asylum seekers :
    1,762
    Immigration detention capacity:
    778
    Persons expelled :
    5,440
    International migrants:
    472,800
    New asylum applications :
    2,157