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OHCHR Slams Hungary Over Undue Pressure on Refugee NGOs

© AP Photo / Bela SzandelszkyAn Afghan refugee rests on the Hungarian Serbian border area near Asotthalom, Hungary.
An Afghan refugee rests on the Hungarian Serbian border area near Asotthalom, Hungary. - Sputnik International
GENEVA (Sputnik) - The Office of UN Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) criticized Hungary on Friday over its new draft legislation exerting additional pressure on non-governmental groups working with refugees.

"The proposed legislation represents an unjustified restriction on the right to freedom of association and is a worrying continuation of the Government’s assault on human rights and civic space. The ability of civil society organizations to access funding and other resources from domestic, foreign and international sources is an integral part of the right to freedom of association. We call on the Hungarian Government to review these proposed laws to ensure that freedom of association is fully guaranteed," Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville said in a statement.

He pointed out that, if adopted, the legislation may have a negative impact on those, who rely on the NGOs’ aid.

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"We recognize the responsibility of the Hungarian State to control its borders but the proposed legislation not only threatens the work of the country’s civil society, but also may have a serious effect on the rights of those who rely on the services of NGOs and charities, including refugees and asylum-seekers, many of whom rely on such NGOs for support, as Government assistance has dwindled over time," Colville added.

Earlier this week, the Hungarian government submitted a legislative package to the country’s parliament, which envisages tightening government control over the non-governmental organizations, which are "supporting migration." One of the draft legislation’s provisions ban people, who "support" illegal migration, from entering the eight-kilometer (five-mile) zone along the country’s border.

Hungary took a tough stance on migration after eruption of the refugee crisis in 2015 taking a number of measures restricting the influx including building a fence on its borders.

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