The international community should finally make a clear distinction between refugees and migrants, which would help tackle the migration crisis worldwide, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at the UNHCR Executive Committee meeting in Geneva.
The minister stressed at the meeting that Hungary is facing a double security challenge: In the east, the war in neighboring Ukraine, with all its serious consequences, and in the south, the increasing pressure of illegal migration. He noted that the case of Hungary illustrates the importance of distinguishing between refugees and migrants. If this finally happens, it could be a great help in solving the migration crisis worldwide.
He underlined that
this distinction is based on international law stating that if someone is forced to flee, they have the right to stay temporarily in the first safe country, but not the right to go through dozens of safe countries until they reach the place of their choice.
In his speech, Péter Szijjártó called Hungary a perfect example in this respect, where more than a million people have arrived from Ukraine since the start of the war, and all refugees have been given equal access to healthcare, education, and help to find work.
In contrast, he emphasized that what is happening on the southern border is outrageous, as those arriving there have already crossed several safe countries in violation of international law, therefore they cannot be considered refugees. Moreover, they are trying to cross the Hungarian border illegally, which is a crime, he said, adding that last year, about 275,000 illegal border crossings were registered, and so far 150,000 this year. He also described it as outrageous that the fact that some migrants and people smugglers are now armed with automatic weapons and have fired at border guards in several cases, as well as at each other.
The minister said that in Europe, these migrant flows are mostly fueled by measures that encourage people to leave, feeding the business model of people smugglers and forcing sovereign countries to give up the right to decide for themselves who can and cannot enter their territories. Instead, he stressed that
the focus should be on addressing original causes and creating the right conditions for people to stay.
Finally, he warned that advocates of mandatory distribution quotas would turn the EU into a magnet for migrants. As a consequence, he explained, parallel societies are being created, the threat of terrorism is increasing, and modern-day antisemitism is on the rise in western Europe.
Via MTI, Featured image: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter