Since June 2016, the Hungarian state has completely withdrawn integration services provided to beneficiaries of international protection, thus leaving recognised refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection to destitution and homelessness. Only non-governmental and church-based organisations provide services aimed at integration such as housing, language courses, assistance with finding employment, or with family reunification. However, their capacities are seriously limited and cannot provide for all. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic further aggravated the already existing problems and difficulties for beneficiaries of international protection in the absence of integration and support programs.
The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe pointed out in her 2019 report that xenophobic rhetoric and attitudes in Hungary have a harmful effect on the integration of recognised refugees. Even though the general migration strategy adopted in 2013 called for the creation of a tolerant Hungarian host society, the strategy has never been materialised. According to a comparative report on refugee integration frameworks in 14 EU Member States from 2019 among east-central European countries Hungary provides the least advantageous integration policy framework. As for the authors, this is due to deliberate policy choices.
In June 2019, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommended that Hungary take all immediate measures to stop racist hate speech and incitement to violence against, among others, asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. The Committee was particularly alarmed by racist and discriminatory statements made by public figures, with more power to promote racial hatred. The Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants remarked that journalists from local media helped fuelling xenophobia and anti-migration attitudes in Hungary. The UNHCR raised similar concerns. According to the organization, ‘the Government of Hungary has been systematically pursuing an anti-refugee rhetoric over the years. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and other senior government officials have on several occasions asserted that foreigners and migrants are to blame for the arrival of the pandemic in Hungary. This rhetoric has fuelled xenophobia, ethnic and racial hatred including by associating immigration and refugees with terrorism, by vilifying refugees and migrants as a threat to the country.’
Keeping in mind the complete withdrawal of the state from the integration of beneficiaries of international protection, we discuss the content of international protection as follows:
A. Status and residence
- Residence permit
- Civil registration
- Long-term residence
- Cessation and review of protection status
- Withdrawal of protection status
B. Family reunification
C. Movement and mobility
E. Employment and education
F. Social welfare
G. Health care
 HHC, Two years after: What’s Left of Refugee Protection in Hungary?, September 2017, available at: http://bit.ly/2EdCWqm.
 CoE-CommDH – Council of Europe – Commissioner for Human Rights: Commission for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Dunja Mijatović; Report following her visit to Hungary from 4 to 8 February 2019, 21 May 2019, available at: http://bit.ly/2TemwbJ.
 Wolffhardt A., Conte C. and Huddleston T., The European Benchmark for Refugee Integration: A comparative analysis of the national integration evaluation mechanism in 14 EU countries, Migration Policy Group and Institute of Public Affairs, 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/39gJDrc, 159.
 Wolffhardt et al. 2019, 49.
 Wolffhardt et al. 2019, 10.
 Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Concluding observations on the combined eighteenth to twenty-fifth periodic reports of Hungary, CERD/C/HUN/CO/18-25, 6 June 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/3pAX0gh.
 HRC – UN Human Rights Council: Compilation on Hungary; Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights [A/HRC/WG.6/39/HUN/2], 25 August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3Hf0741.
 UNHCR – UN High Commissioner for Refugees: Submission by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; For the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Compilation Report; Universal Periodic Review: 3rd Cycle, 39th Session; Hungary, February 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3AOkMtE.