8600 children – mainly Afghan, Syrian, and Kosovan – arrived to Hungary in 2015 unaccompanied; it’s ten times more than in the previous years, writes index.hu.

Most of the children are 15 – 18 year old boys, who have no intention of staying in Hungary, but to travel to Western European countries. Only 21 of them received any kind of national protection (either refugee, or protective status, and may stay in the country for a longer period of time).

The government has established a 370 million HUF fund for helping the children who came to Hungary without their parents or a guardian accompanying them; but it seems unnecessary, as children only spend about six to eight days in the children’s home that is maintained for them.

Most of the migrant children are above the age of 14, and are usually boys, but more and more 12-14 year old children are coming to Hungary with teenagers, said Júlia Iván, legal expert of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, which also provides legal services for migrant children.

Károly Czibere, EMMI’s (Ministry of Human Capacities) Minister of State for Social Affairs and Inclusion also told MTI on the 1st of October that this trend seems to be changing; the migrating children are younger, and more girls are coming to Hungary.

Those people who are under the age of 18, cross the border illegally, and have no legal guardians, are unidentified as children, and have more rights than adult immigrants. The asylum procedure supposed to be faster in their case (in theory), they have the right to go to school, live in a children’s home where they receive meals five times a week, and a legal guardian is appointed for them.  Therefore these children (21 out of the 8600 in 2015), have the same rights as those Hungarian children who were took into care by the government.

If the child’s age is questioned, they are examined by doctors to make sure that they are under the age of 18. Then, children are transferred either to Fót or to Hódmezővásárhely to the children’s home, and are accompanied by the employees of the Office of Immigration and Nationality (BÁH), and the asylum procedure begins. Although children supposed be the priority, it often takes eight or nine months to receive refugee status, because the system is overloaded, and it is hard to find legal guardians who speak different languages.

Most of the children spend only one week in Hungary, and they run away before the procedure ends. Although the government took measures in order to shorten the procedure, it’s still hard to find guardians who are qualified for the job.

Despite the fact that most children leave Hungary as soon as possible, the children’s homes are maintained, and if necessary, new buildings can be converted into homes. In May, children spent an average 16.5 days in the country, while today it’s only 6-8 days. The reason for that, according to a study made by the European Migrant Network (supported by the European Commission and the Ministry of Interior) is that children think about Hungary only as a transit country.

based on an article of index.hu
translated by Adrienn Sain

Photo: MTI

Source: index.hu

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