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Statement

Statement on impact on children of new law in Hungary - attributed to UNICEF Regional Director and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe, Afshan Khan

© UNICEF/UNI197322/Smithies
September 2015 Hungarian Police and Military began arriving at the border crossing from Serbia to Hungary (near Röszke) to prevent people from crossing at unofficial border control points.
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.”
 
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