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Question about right to asylum in light of what is happening in Hungary/Calais.

(7 Posts)
hedgehogsdontbite Wed 16-Sep-15 17:39:13

I was watching news coverage from the now closed Hungary border earlier. The reporter was speaking to a representative of the UNCHR. She said that the UNCHR were extremely concerned about the closing of the border to refugees, stating that it was against the law as refugees have the right to seek asylum and the right to access an asylum process.

I thought those rights only applied once you were in the country. I didn't think it gave the right to enter the country, although I understand illegal entry cannot be held against the asylum seeker.

Can anyone shed any light on this for me. If what she says is correct, does that mean people in Calais have the right to come to the UK to seek asylum? There's so much misinformation around and I'm trying to work out fact from fiction.


goawayalready Wed 16-Sep-15 17:44:06

from what ive gathered if you are fleeing from persecution genuine life or death you skip the paperwork (but can't stay forever unless its exceptional circumstances)

they are allowed to close the borders in certain situations

germany should not have advertised themselves so widely and caused a mass panic/stampede they have made the situation worse (personal opinion)

calais appears to have more economic migrants than genuine refugees (but that just might be how the press is making it out i genuinely don't know)

wowfudge Thu 17-Sep-15 04:51:08

The big issue is that once a refugee enters the EU they are supposed to claim asylum in the first country they enter because essentially it's a safe place.

What is actually happening is that a lot of refugees are then trying to get to the countries they would rather be in, such as Germany or Sweden, to claim asylum there.

This is why the terminology changes to migrants because in essence they become economic migrants because they are choosing to travel to specific countries, because they believe they will get a better deal.

It's the same with the people who have fled Syria for Turkey. They can claim asylum in Turkey, but, as we know, many thousands are attempting to enter the EU via Greece because they would rather be in the EU.

In the Schengen countries of the EU, border controls are relaxed and passing from one country to another is not monitored in the same way as travelling from the UK to France or any other EU country is. This gives the authorities in the Schengen countries a headache - their borders are supposed to be open, but as I understand it they have a duty to prevent purely economic migration by non-EU nationals.

The UK refused to sign up to Schengen. I believe that one of the reasons given was because of the possibility of a crisis like the one facing parts of Europe now and possible influx of hundreds of thousands of people with little control over the situation.

In simplistic terms, people fleeing war, persecution, etc are refugees. People choosing to travel to a specific country having passed through other countries where they could have claimed asylum are migrants.

DontDrinkandFacebook Thu 17-Sep-15 05:37:23

germany should not have advertised themselves so widely and caused a mass panic/stampede they have made the situation worse (personal opinion)

I agree. I think they did it to make an example of the UK and others, hoping that we'd be guilt tripped into doing the same and now they are regretting it. I think there is such a strongly ingrained culture of post WWII guilt going on there that they want to be seen to be falling over themselves to do the right thing. Great. Except their generous but poorly thought out gesture has got rather out of hand and now they are backtracking and panicking wildly.

JanetBlyton Thu 17-Sep-15 07:30:57

She made a right pig's ear of that and was basically pawned on it......

If people are safe in Serbia they have no right to enter Hungary just because they think they will get more money in Hungary. She waffled on about Serbia may be not being a very nice place to live but she quoted no laws.

However much people may not like the Hungarians they are sticking to the law which apparently Germany has suddenly decided to do.

Serbia and Turkey may not be much fun but you will not be shot down with missiles there.

Abraid2 Thu 17-Sep-15 07:33:35

Germany needed lots of economic migrants, which is in part at least why they were happy to have so many. Large country, less densely populated, too. They messed up with the way they did it and will probably have caused more deaths.

STIDW Fri 18-Sep-15 20:46:08

Just three points;

1) Germany's density of population isn't that much less than that of the UK. The density of population in the Netherlands and Belgium is considerably higher.

2) It's impossible to say who is an economic migrant or refugee until the individuals have the opportunity to produce evidence and facts at a fair hearing.

3) Contrary to some media reports Germany hasn't closed it's borders. Temporary border controls have been introduced to slow down the influx of refugees to a manageable level. It appears one of the issues is many people have joined the refugees as they travelled through the Balkans. The Schengen Agreement makes provision for temporary border controls in exceptional circumstances. A German government spokesman has confirmed Germany will take all the refugees it said it would this year, but no one ever said they would do it overnight.

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