While 80 to 90% of U.S. fence applications are for privacy fences, Hungary is taking its privacy very seriously. According to a recent report from Mashable, Hungary has almost completed its 12-foot, 110-mile barbed wire fence, installed to keep out migrants.
Just this year, tens of thousands of people have crossed into Hungary from Serbia, amidst the world’s worst refugee crisis since World War II. The refugees walked along the Balkan land route for hundreds of miles, hoping to find safety. The fence has sparked country-wide protests in Hungary, despite being nearly complete.
Many citizens believe that the erection of the fence is inhumane, given the conditions that the refugees have been facing in Serbia. Lydia Gall, Eastern Europe and Western Balkans researcher for Human Rights Watch, says the fence will not do the country any good.
“Hungary should honor its human rights obligations and indeed its own history and keep its borders open to allow people to present their claims for asylum in a fair and transparent procedure,” she said. “Building fences is not the way to address Europe’s immigration and refugee demand. It will have no impact on the conflicts, human rights abuses, and poverty that drive people to try to reach EU territory.”
The Hungarian government predicts that up to 300,000 migrants will have entered the country by the end of the year. More than 90,000 refugees have already made it into the country in an attempt to find safety or asylum.
The intent of the fence is controversial, given Hungary’s own refugee crisis just 60 years ago. Almost 200,000 Hungarians left the country in 1956, seeking safety in western countries.
The fence is expected to be complete in November.