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Statement on impact on children on new law in Hungary

Statement attributed to UNICEF Regional Director and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe, Afshan Khan

GENEVA, 9 March 2017 – "UNICEF is alarmed by the adoption of a new law in Hungary that foresees the mandatory detention of refugee and migrant children over 14 years of age. We appeal to the President to treat all children as children first and foremost, before signing this new law.

"Detaining refugee and migrant children fleeing violence and persecution and seeking a better life is traumatic. It effectively criminalizes children and robs them of their rights such as education. The impact of this on any child, no matter their age, can last a lifetime.

"We trust that Hungary will uphold its commitment to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and its adherence to EU and international laws. UNICEF stands ready to support the government of Hungary in these efforts."



UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

For further information, please contact: 
Sarah Crowe, UNICEF Geneva,, +41 79 543 80 29 



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