What has happened and what is happening now:
It has been just over a week now that the ‘regulations’ were eased and the refugees could pass through Hungary without being registered. The ‘regulations’ require that a refugee register in the first country in which he/she enters the EU. Because of its location, Hungary is that country in this crisis. Up until a week ago, Hungary was either not registering the refugees or it was taking a very long time, and therefore the refugees were having to wait days and weeks before they could move on to Austria, Germany, and western Europe.
When Hungary’s government decided to do this, they also have said that there is an end date for which that will be allowed: Sept 15. As of tomorrow, refugees who enter Hungary illegally, as many of them have been doing, will be accountable to the legal system and will be tried and convicted accordingly. Refugees who enter legally will be taken to refugee camps, where up to this point, have had little to no resources or support except by volunteers and NGOs. They can then be held at these refugee camps indefinitely until they are registered officially.
The Hungarian government has been building a fence on the border with Serbia to contain the flow of refugees. They have also been preparing refugee camps. I wonder why some of these resources used for building a fence and refugee camps could not have been used for providing transportation for refugees to get through Hungary. Why is there such determination to keep them out and keep them contained? All they want is to get through and move on.
Last week the train station in Budapest was a place of movement. Many people were coming in and then heading out on trains. This week brings news of borders closing between Germany and Austria. Which will then have an impact on the border between Austria and Hungary. Hungary is starting to follow through on its threats of closing off the border with Serbia.
Refugee camps are filling up. Shelter, food, medical attention and warm clothing are needed. Donations are coming in but then they must go to the camps with are kilometers from Budapest. So many people are helping.
If you want to help too here are a few options:
Hungarian Helsinki Committee – http://helsinki.hu/en/
This group is providing legal aid to help refugees as they move through the asylum legal process. This will become a much greater need once the border between Hungary and Serbia is closed this week. Refugees will have a very small window of time to apply for asylum, or will be sent back to Serbia. Many lawyers are needed to help process the thousands of refugees in need!!!
Hungarian Maltese Charity Service – http://www.helps-project.eu/…/39-hungarian-maltese-charity-…
This group is present in various locations and is providing medical assistance right on site where refugees are in need.
Budapest-Bamako SOS Refugee Organization –http://www.gofundme.com/sosrefugee
This group is providing assistance of all kinds and we have volunteered with them recently at the border of Serbia where they have a medical tent as well as providing basic supplies.
Refugee Support in Budapest – http://www.gofundme.com/v63cey2c A group of friends and colleagues living in Budapest helping as best we can.
What else can you do?
Share the word. Talk to others. Read information. Don’t forget. Find out what is happening in other countries – Turkey, Austria, Germany. Ask your government to help. Remember, this could be you in another place or another time.
Disclaimer: I cannot claim to know the truth behind all the actions made by others or governments. I write to share my perspective and to spread the word.