Feature 10 Feb 17

Hungary’s Harsh Laws Make Migrant Journeys an Ordeal

Hungary's tightened border measures have turned migrants’ once relatively easy passage to the EU into a nightmare.

Natalia Zaba
BIRN
Belgrade, Subotica, Horgos, Tompa
Hungarian fence on the border with Serbia. Photo by: Beta

Almost a year after Hungary closed its borders for the immigrants trying to enter the EU through the so-called Balkan route, the border between Hungary, Croatia and Serbia looks like a war zone.

There are constant police patrols all along the four-metre-high and 175km-long barbed-wire fence, using dogs, drones, night-vision goggles and all other kind of equipment to spot potential migrants.

A secondary wall is being built to make illegal crossings even harder. The Hungarian authorities say these and other measures are needed to fight human trafficking.

While the number of people reaching Hungary has decreased dramatically, the trafficking has not stopped, however.

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