- Shall I go to Sweden or Germany? A man grabs my arm at the rainy railway platform in the Hungarian village Hegyeshalom and asks a question that for me is almost impossible to answer. He is one of that millions of people, who last year escaped war, injustice and human rights violations in their home countries. Some of them made it to their desired final destination after a long and troublesome journey; some of them are still waiting in refugee camps all over the European Union.
During fall 2015, Hegyeshalom became a transit town for thousands of people that arrived arriving by train from the southern parts of the country. A three kilometers walk towards the Austrian border, guarded by Hungarian police, awaited them at the platform, before they could continue their journey further into Europe. Some people shared their dreams about a new start in Finland, and some wanted to reunite with their families somewhere in Scandinavia.
Together, EU governments should do much more to ensure access to effective protection, including on EU territory, and guarantee respect for the rights of asylum seekers and migrants at EU borders and on EU territory.
- Europé’s Refugee Crisis, Human Rights Watch, 2016