Center for Fundamental Rights

The right to asylum is not a right to global social health care

As the 2 October referendum approaches, more and more people make their voices heard on the subject. In Hungary, everyone has the right to freedom of opinion, and it is only natural that, about such a current and far-reaching topic as the migration crisis, different people formulate different opinions. However, it is important as well to record the cornerstones, which are undoubtedly based on facts.

All this is necessary, because fundamentalist human rights organisations in recent times have consistently claimed that the referendum is without stake, and the EU therefore Hungary are legally bound by international law to accept every single new arrival. However, it is important to note that pursuant to the Hungarian Fundamental Law, Hungary – in full compliance with EU and international legal obligations – provides temporary protection for those who cannot be guaranteed protection by either their country of origin or any other country. Under the Geneva Convention, asylum can be granted in the first country of asylum, that is, where the person’s life or safety is no longer in danger for the first time during their migration. On these grounds, a Syrian migrant has the right to asylum in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan – but not in the EU. The Hungarian laws that have been adopted since last summer all serve the purpose that, in the current extraordinary situation, the original content of asylum prevails, as well as the safety of Hungarian citizens is guaranteed. The right to asylum is not a right to global social health care.

Many European leaders argue that if the EU were to let in and settle everyone who arrives here, then the problems in the international conflict zones would be resolved. However, we have to admit that between the stable and developed and the unstable and underdeveloped regions of the world there is a demographic and economic tension that is not treatable by the tools of asylum policy. So the issue is not the current so called “humanitarian” migration crisis, but rather a global demographic and economic problem, which the EU will not be able to solve even if it takes in millions of people a year. From where millions have fled, tens of millions will be born into poverty every year, while those who disappear from the crisis areas are the ones who could help rebuild their land due to their knowledge or financial situation. Therefore, the EU’s real humanitarian responsibility is to defend itself, and to help the underdeveloped regions of the world by all possible financial and infrastructural means, as well as to take the courage and take action where necessary, even by setting up a joint army. The solution of the current situation is not to bring the problems of the conflict zones to Europe, but to help where it is needed the most.

The full article can be read here