Types of accommodation

Hungary

Country Report: Types of accommodation Last updated: 30/11/20

Author

Hungarian Helsinki Committee Visit Website

Types of accommodation

On 31 December 2019, there were 2 open reception centres and 1 home for unaccompanied children in Hungary. The two reception centres are:

Reception Centre

Location

Maximum capacity

Occupancy at end 2019

Balassagyarmat

Near Slovakian border

140

1

Vámosszabadi

Near Slovakian border

210

4

Fót (unaccompanied minors under age 14)

Near Budapest

130

12

Total

 

480

17

Source: NDGAP

 

There is a visible discrepancy between the numbers of occupancy and the maximum capacity of reception facilities in the table above. It clearly points out that these reception facilities are not efficiently used and despite the fact that only in December 2019 there were applicants who were placed in the transit zones and not in open reception facilities (see Access to the Territory and Place of Detention).[2] The dramatic decrease in the numbers of asylum seekers accommodated in open reception centres started in March 2017 (see the 2018 AIDA country report). Since then the figures have remained very low.

Balassagyarmat is a community shelter with a maximum capacity of 140 places for asylum seekers, beneficiaries of international protection, persons tolerated to stay, persons under immigration procedure and foreigners having been held for 12 months in immigration detention. In 2018 and 2019, primarily this reception facility hosted those asylum seekers who were released from the transit zones as a result of judicial orders for relocation. In 2017, it was functioning mainly for asylum seekers relocated from the transit zones based on their on-going Dublin procedure. They waited in Balassagyarmat for the transfer to Western EU Member States.

Vámosszabadi Reception Centre is located outside Vámosszabadi, close to the Slovakian border. It is a three-storey-high pre-manufactured building, which used to serve as one of the barracks of the Soviet troops stationed in Hungary.[3] The reception centre until July 2018 hosted mainly asylum seekers whose cases had been launched before the March 2017 amendments. The HHC is aware of one case, when an asylum-seeking family was placed there due to the poor health status of the mother in 2018. There has been another case recorded in 2019, when due to the lethally ill child an asylum-seeking family was placed there. The centre hosted nonetheless primarily beneficiaries of international protection released from the transit zones. Although, according to the information provided by NDGAP, people on average had stayed only 2-3 weeks before they left the country.[4]

The centres are managed by the asylum authority.[5] Until the end of 2018, the reception centres operated financially under the direction of the Director-General as an independent department structurally being a part of the regional directorates and perform their professional tasks under the supervision of the Refugee Affairs Directorate of the former IAO.  As of 1 January 2019, the reception facilities and detention centres fall under the exclusive management and supervision of the central Refugee Affairs Directorate of the NDGAP.[6]

Unaccompanied children below the age of fourteen are not placed in the transit zones but are accommodated in Fót. The Károlyi Istvány Children’s Home in Fót is a home for unaccompanied children located in the North of Budapest, which belongs to the Ministry of Human Resources and can host 130 children.[7] Unaccompanied children beyond the age of 14 are detained in the transit zones as it is detailed in Detention of vulnerable applicants.

Fót, therefore, hosts unaccompanied children whose asylum procedure is still on going, recipients of refugee, subsidiary protection and tolerated status, as well as those who are under the effect of an alien policing procedure. The Children’s Home’s closure was announced in 2016. Although a deadline for shutting the Home down has been announced several times, the Home remains to be open at the time of writing. Several Hungarian children have been placed to other child welfare institutions (in all cases, with worse material conditions) or were sent back to their parents or previous caregivers in 2019, in procedures which child protection experts reported to be extremely unprofessional. A previously announced plan to renovate a ruinous building at the backyard of a youth detention facility (Aszód see in 2018 AIDA country report) for unaccompanied minors seems to have been dropped by the Government, at least nothing happened to the building in the past year. The Children’s Home is therefore being emptied rapidly, with only a few unaccompanied minors remaining there, whose future accommodation is uncertain. The children and staff are constantly kept in the dark about the future of the Children’s Home and any possible plans for the future.

Last year Fót registered 10 unaccompanied minors. On 31 December 2019, there were 12 asylum seeking children and 6 minor beneficiaries of international protection residing in the facility.[8]



[1]           Both permanent and for first arrivals.

[2]           Information provided by former IAO, 12 February 2019.

[3]           Cited from the report published by HHC, Safety Net Torn Apart – Gender-based vulnerabilities in the Hungarian asylum system, 26 June 2018, available at: http://bit.ly/2FOjALa.

[4]           Ibid.

[5]           Section 12(3) Asylum Decree.

[6]           Order of the Minister of Interior no. 26/2018. (XII. 28.) amended the order of the Minister of Interior no. 39/2016. (XII. 29.) on the determination of the structural and operational order of the Immigration and Asylum Office.

[7]           Information provided by the Directorate-General for Social Affairs and Child Protection upon the freedom of information request of HHC, on 17 January 2020.

[8]           Data received from the Directorate-General for Social Affairs and Child Protection upon the freedom of information request of HHC, on 17 January 2020.

 

 

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation