Hungary urged to refrain from policies and practices that promote intolerance and hatred

UNHCR - the UN Refugee Agency, the Council of Europe and ODHIR - the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights have urged Hungary to refrain from policies and practices that promote intolerance, fear and fuel xenophobia against refugees and migrants.

The Organizations have joined voices to call on the Hungarian leadership to adopt the true spirit of humanity in helping those who have been forced out of their countries against their own will and choice and are currently seeking safety in Europe.

The Hungarian Government launched a new public campaign in December, portraying those fleeing war and conflict as criminals, invaders and terrorists based on their religious beliefs and places of origin. Not the first of its kind in the country, this campaign also targets migrants and plans to run for two months through Christmas and into the new year in 2016.

The Organizations are collectively stressing the need for the Hungarian Government to acknowledge that refugees are coming to Europe, after having endured trauma, tragedy and loss while searching for hope and dignity to start a new life far from the upheavals of war and conflict. As part of the common European system, Hungary is looked upon to contribute to the joint efforts in dealing with the continent's largest refugee crisis since the World War II and to meet its international legal commitments in this area under both International law and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Media Contacts:


  • In Geneva - William Spindler on mobile +41 79 217 3011
  • In Budapest - Babar Baloch on mobile +36 30 530 9633

Council of Europe:

  • In Strasbourg - Daniel Höltgen, Spokesperson of the Secretary General, on mobile +33 6 68 29 87 51

OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights:

  • In Warsaw - Thomas Rymer on mobile +48 609 522 266