UNHCR publishes note on Dublin transfers to Hungary of people who have transited through Serbia

Friday, October 4, 2013

UNHCR recommends that Dublin participating States refrain from transferring asylum seekers under the Dublin Regulation to Hungary, in cases where those asylum seekers have or may have been in Serbia prior to entering Hungary. In a note published this week, UNHCR highlights that Hungary considers Serbia to be a ‘safe third country’, and systematically returns asylum seekers who have transited through Serbia to that country without examination of their claims on the merits. The UN Refugee Agency stresses that it has documented many such removals to Serbia, and in some cases, onward removal from Serbia to other countries without any guarantee that their asylum claims will be examined in a fair and effective procedure. Furthermore, UNHCR reminds that access to the asylum procedure in Hungary also remains problematic for asylum seekers returned to Hungary under the Dublin system. Most of these asylum seekers must re-apply for asylum once they have been returned to Hungary as their files have been closed in their absence. The asylum applications of “Dublin returnees” - with the exception of those few applicants who return to Hungary before being issued a final decision on their claims, involving rejection or termination of the procedure after absconding- are considered to be subsequent applications, and applicants are required to show new elements in support of their claims that were not present at the time of the first application. A suspensive effect does not automatically apply in case of subsequent applications. Most applicants are issued an expulsion order and are detained. UNHCR warns that, consequently, asylum seekers returned to Hungary under the Dublin Regulation are in most cases not protected against expulsion to third countries, even if the merits of their asylum claims have not been examined prior to their departure from Hungary and the closure of their files in their absence.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE, the IRC or its partners.



Safe third country
Dublin Transfer
Effective access to procedures
Right to remain pending a decision (Suspensive effect)
Subsequent application