Hungary's border fence – Photo: wikipedia

CoE calls on Hungary to stop removal of asylum seekers

The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers has expressed concern over Hungary's removal of illegal migrants seeking asylum from Hungarian territory to the Serbian side of the border between the two countries and called on Hungary to submit an action plan by June next year aimed at eliminating the practice, the CoE said.

According to the CoE’s statement, the committee reviewed the execution of rulings by the European Court of Human Rights related to violations of rules on asylum seeking. Although the Hungarian authorities indicated that they had launched a reform of Hungary’s asylum procedures, the committee has not yet received information about actual measures, the statement said.

The committee has urged the Hungarian authorities “to intensify their efforts to reform the asylum system in order to afford effective access to means of legal entry, in particular border procedures in line with Hungary’s international obligations”.

The body also called on the authorities “to terminate, without further delay, the practice of removing asylum-seekers to Serbia … without their identification or examination of their individual situation.”

According to the statement, the committee “reiterated its call on the authorities to introduce an effective remedy providing a person alleging that their expulsion procedure is ‘collective’ in nature with an effective possibility of challenging the expulsion decision by having a sufficiently thorough examination of their complaints conducted by an independent and impartial domestic forum”.

“Finally, should Hungary achieve no tangible progress by September 2024, the Committee of Ministers envisages taking new action to ensure it abides by its obligations deriving from the Court’s judgments in this group of cases,” the statement said.

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