Winter is coming - pushbacks and violence continue. Yes, pushbacks are illegal, but widespread at EU borders. Police deny People on the Move (PoM) access to their right to apply for asylum. Moreover, they use excessive force, even torture, against PoM during pushbacks. Read more about pushbacks to Serbia and Hungary's role in it in the text below.

To the north, Serbia borders Croatia, Hungary and Romania - all EU member states and all perpetrators of pushbacks and violence against fleeing people. Every day, survivors of pushbacks return to Serbia with injuries inflicted by police, their cell phones, money and other valuables stolen.

The Hungarian government is notorious for its blatant racism and complete disregard for the human rights of minorities. In 2016, Hungary included pushbacks in its official migration policy. In 2021, according to Hungarian police statistics, 72,787 people were turned back as they fled and 47,323 were prevented from entering the country. In the summer of '22, Hungary began recruiting a "border fighter force," a 4,000-strong police force to patrol the border after receiving minimal training.

FRONTEX - the European Border and Coast Guard Agency - suspended its presence in Hungary in 2021 after coming under pressure due to Hungary's involvement in human rights violations against PoM, but returned in 2022 with the "Terra" mission to strengthen border control and surveillance.

Hungary also receives bilateral support from EU member states: Survivors of border violence in the region have reported that officials carrying Czech and Austrian flags conducted push-backs from Hungary to Serbia. In October 2022, the heads of state of Austria, Hungary, and Serbia met to discuss how to further assist Serbia in blocking the PoM on its path to the EU.

While Hungary has been particularly blunt about pushbacks and disregard for the rights and dignity of PoM, other countries, including Croatia, Slovenia, and Poland, have been no different. Pushbacks and violence are systematically used at all EU external borders to weaken PoM and prevent them from entering the EU.

We condemn all active and passive support of pushbacks. END PUSHBACKS NOW!

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