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International solidarity in providing protection for refugees has broken down - Dr Dallal Stevens

Dr Dallal Stevens , an expert on refugee and asylum law and policy at the University of Warwick has reacted to Hungary’s emergency new legislation introduced overnight.

She said:

“Hungary's new laws reveal clearly the ongoing clash between the fundamental right to seek asylum and the right of the state to control its borders.

“While Hungary argues that people can claim asylum at the official crossing point, it has also made it clear that it regards very few as refugees and the majority will, in any event, be returned to Serbia which it considers a "safe country".

“What are the consequences of this?

1) International solidarity for the provision of protection for refugees has broken down. Measures such as these attempt to push the issue of providing protection on to other states, without consideration of the consequences for refugees or for other states.

2) States could engage in what is called chain refoulement – basically returning asylum seekers and refugees to other countries earlier in their route with a risk that they ultimately could be returned to a country in which they risk persecution or death. This breaches a fundamental principle of the Refugee Convention.

3) If this is an attempt to push people back to their region of origin and persuade them not to start the journey in the first place, it will not succeed. The movement of people will simply re-route via Croatia, Slovenia, or Bulgaria.”

Notes to Editors:

Contact Lee Page, Communications Manager at The University of Warwick. Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255. Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221. Email:


Lee Page, Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255.

Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221.