OSCE PA’s human rights Chair raises concerns over Hungarian proposal for asylum seekers

COPENHAGEN, 18 January 2017 – Responding today to a proposed plan by the Hungarian government to hold all asylum seekers in detention centres for the entire duration of their application process on national security grounds, Spanish parliamentarian and Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s human rights committee Ignacio Sanchez Amor called on Hungary to respect the rights of asylum seekers on its territory.

“This proposal could pose a threat to every asylum seeker in Hungary and risks denying vulnerable individuals, many of whom have fled from violence and terror, their fundamental rights. I recall Hungary’s commitments under European and international law, and urge authorities not to adopt punitive policies as a method of deterrence. Governments must avoid actions that risk further stigmatizing migrants and asylum seekers at a time when they need more protection, not less,” said Sanchez Amor.

In its 2016 Tbilisi Declaration, the OSCE PA stressed the importance of open and secure borders, while also calling on governments to stop imposing legal and physical barriers to the movement of people fleeing violence and to actively work toward an inclusive approach to migrants and refugees, including through incorporating refugees and asylum seekers within the national labour market at the earliest possible stage.

In addition to serving as Chair of the OSCE PA’s General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, Sanchez Amor is a member of the PA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Migration, which has been meeting this week with officials in Brussels and Geneva.

Together with other members of the Ad Hoc Committee, Sanchez Amor participated in meetings Monday and Tuesday with representatives of the European External Action Service, the European Commission, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Organization for Migration, and the UN Refugee Agency.

The high-level meetings were the latest effort of the Ad Hoc Committee on Migration to promote coherent policies aimed at managing migration flows and improve co-ordination between the multiple actors dealing with the refugee and migrant crisis on the ground. The Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee, Swiss parliamentarian Filippo Lombardi, is expected to report on the Brussels and Geneva meetings to the OSCE PA’s Standing Committee next month at the Assembly’s Winter Meeting in Vienna.



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