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Refugee attitudes - Hungary

#Hungary is one of the member states of the #European Union which has been consistently accused of violating #EU Law on international protection (2011/95/EU) by not taking its share of asylum seekers. The government led by #Orban has been responsible for disseminating anti-refugee rhetoric to the citizens by stirring up xenophobic and homophobic sentiments by referring to refugees as ‘intruders’ and ‘terrorists’. The citizens have been taught that refugees pose a threat to their diversity and Christian values.

During the 2015 crisis for the refugees, Hungary closed its borders and the authorities used razor wires fencing to stop the asylum seekers from entering into the member state. But there were ‘transit zones’ where asylum seekers could be accommodated. In reality, these were detention centres where asylum seekers were left starved in prison-like conditions. They were intentionally left to starve to force them to leave the transit zones. Once they left the transit zones, they are not allowed to apply for asylum applications ever again as per the Hungarian asylum law. Unfortunately, most of the asylum seekers who were in the transit zone were minors. All this was justified by the populist government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban to fight a ‘state of crisis due to mass immigration’.

Since asylum seekers were portrayed as #migrants who wanted to steal the livelihood and social benefits of the citizens of Hungary, the attitude of citizens was likewise impacted. A survey conducted by #Pew Research Center in 2018 shows that more than 70% of people feel 'migrants' are a burden to Hungary. Further, when it comes to accepting the difference between refugees fleeing persecution and immigrations in search of a better lifestyle, the attitude of the citizens still remain similar. In another research, it was found out that most countries around the world are most accommodating to refugees because they flee violence and wars, but the citizens of Hungary has in general a non-welcoming attitude towards both. Thus, Hungary still remains an unsafe place for refugees.

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