Yesterday on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story, Dr Jeff Crisp (RSC Research Associate and Advisor) was interviewed together with Gabor Gyulai of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (Helsinki Bizottsag) and Greg O’Ceallaigh, a Barrister at Garden Court Chambers London, about Hungary’s decision to build a 4-metre high fence along its 110-mile border with Serbia in an attempt to keep out asylum seekers and migrants. All three were in agreement that the fence will be ineffective in keeping out or deterring people fleeing desperate situations.
Dr Crisp stated that the decision to erect the fence highlights two key issues, which are certainly not attributable to Hungary alone. Firstly, it shows ‘a lack of understanding of the powerful forces that are driving people across the world to try and find safety and better conditions of life… If somebody has come from Syria or Eritrea and made it all the way to the Serbia-Hungary border, they’re not going to look at the fence and simply say “OK, I’ll turn around and go back then”.’ Secondly, it is ‘an exercise in political symbolism. Governments want to show that they are doing something and erecting a fence looks good on TV.’