The Hungarian government is posting ads in Lebanese and Jordanian newspapers warning migrants not to enter Hungary illegally, saying it is a crime punishable by imprisonment.
The ad touts Hungary’s “hospitable” people, but stresses “the strongest possible action will be taken against those who attempt to enter Hungary illegally”.
Lebanon has almost 1.2 million Syrian refugees some of whom have expressed interest in migrating to Europe because of poor conditions they live in here.
European Union countries are scrambling to manage the massive influx, with EU leaders set to discuss the crisis at a regional summit on Wednesday.
Hungary has built a razor-wire fence along the entire length of its border with Serbia, and last week hastily erected a barrier along the 41 kilometres (25 miles) of its border with Croatia which is not formed by the hard-to-cross Drava River.
In Greece, fewer boats than normal landed on the island of Lesbos – a major transit point for Syrian refugees heading to Europe from Turkey – on Monday morning, ahead of an expected thunderstorm, Reuters reported. Denmark also warned that migrants whose applications are rejected will be deported immediately. Lebanon’s Minister of Education Elias Bou Saab says Monday the new push doubles the number from past year.
MSF’s letter appeared in Al-Hayat, Al-Quds, and The Daily Star, and included a large photo of a bright orange life jacket, a symbol of the unsafe journey many migrants and refugees are making across the Mediterranean. But this, he warned, leaves roughly the same number – about 200,000 – still without schooling.
Syria’s civil war has killed an estimated 250,000 people, and many continue to flee their homes, with 4 million refugees and another 7.6 million displaced inside the country.
Tonya Chapuisat, the UNICEF representative in Lebanon, said the Lebanese government has the school capacity to absorb more children but needs long-term donor commitment to do so.