Switzerland’s highest administrative court [official website] on Friday ruled to suspend the provisions of the Dublin Convention [text] in relation to Hungary because of humanitarian and legal concerns over conditions. Hungary has continually been sharply criticized for its harsh treatment of refugees. The court stated [SWI report] that the situation in Hungary is too insecure and argued that the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) [official website] was the only organization able to evaluate the asylum cases in Switzerland. Under the EU’s Dublin Convention, member states can return asylum seekers to the country where they first applied for protection. Switzerland is not an EU member state, but it is a signatory to the accord. This ruling concerns 202 people who have been refused asylum in Switzerland under Dublin accord provisions.
The refugee crisis in Europe has been one of the most significant humanitarian issues in the world. Last May a UNHCR press release urged [JURIST report] Greece to improve the living conditions in several of the refugee camps in the country. In April several aid organizations called on [JURIST report] EU leaders to stop deportations of migrants from Greece to Turkey and to stop detaining asylum seekers. Also in April Human Rights Watch reported [JURIST report] that the first deportation of 66 people from the Greek island of Chios to Turkey was “riddled with an array of irregularities.” Earlier in April 2016, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights advised [JURIST report] Turkey to focus on human rights in the wake of their anti-terrorism security measures.