Just after President Barack Obama announced the United States will bring in 10,000 Syrian refugees within the next fiscal year, asylum seekers faced another conflict on their road to freedom. The Hungarian government began construction on a 109 kilometer razor-wired fence on the country’s border with Croatia. Upward of 17,000 people have entered Croatia over the course of last week, where they have been trapped largely due to the Hungarian blockades, according to The New York Times.
Some of the refugees in Croatia headed west to Serbia because they were unable to move north into Hungary or Slovenia. As of Friday, Sept. 18, Slovenia began talks of closing its borders as well, according to The Guardian. Croatian Prime Minister, Zoran Milanovic, told The Guardian, “We cannot register and accommodate these people any longer. They will get food, water and medical help, and then they can move on.” Croatia closed all but one of its border crossings with Serbia last Thursday, but thousands of people have continued to pour into the country.
Many of the countries through which the refugees travel are impoverished; their institutions are not fully developed, and most of the countries can barely cope with their daily government policy issues. Nevertheless, these states are still accepting some refugees.
Despite the hospitality of other European countries, many are criticizing the Hungarian government for the way in which it treats the refugees. Hungarian police forces have reportedly used water cannons and teargas to prevent people from coming across the sealed borders, according to The Guardian.
As the UN comes up with a strategy to deal with the overflow of people, 442,440 refugees have reached Europe this year, with 2,921 having died on the journey, according to The Washington Post. Many more are expected to arrive over the next year.
Editor’s Note: Information from The New York Times, The Guardian and The Washington Post was used in this report.