Canada now accepting more Roma asylum-seekers from Hungary as evidence of persecution accumulates
Canadian newspaper National Post reported on 23 August that Canada is beginning to accept more Romani asylum-seekers from Hungary after all but rejecting them across the board just a few years ago. The Conservative-led Government launched a much-criticized crackdown on allegedly "bogus" refugees in 2009-2010 that led to Hungary being designated a "safe country" in 2012.
The paper reports that Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board data now reveal that the acceptance rate of asylum-seekers from Hungary was 20 % in 2013, 35 % in 2014 and 68 % during the first half of this year. Sean Rehaag, a law professor specializing in immigration law, told the paper that the figures demonstrate Hungary should no longer be considered a "safe country".
Canadian officials declined to given any specific comment to the paper about the evidence that the "safe country" designation for Hungary was itself "bogus". “Canada’s reformed asylum system continues to ensure that all eligible claimants — regardless of their country of origin — have access to a full, fact-based hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada,” spokeswoman Nancy Caron wrote to National Post.
Refugee advocates told the paper there is just too much evidence regarding persecution of Roma in Hungary for immigration authorities to ignore. A 2014 study by the Harvard School of Public Health entitled "Accelerating Patterns of Anti-Roma Violence in Hungary" reported that the country has been enduring a “climate of increasing social and economic exclusion.”
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