By David Fenton-Foster and David BeggsRead moreA new report from the UK-based International Rescue Committee (IRC) paints a bleak picture for EU migrants stranded in Hungary and Austria, where a record 6,000 arrived in the first six months of the year.
The IRC says many have suffered from health problems and physical trauma as a result of the cold weather and the lack of access to basic hygiene, food and other essentials.
IRC spokesperson, Daniel Koehler, said the situation in Hungary, and Austria’s Schengen zone, was “the worst in Europe”.
Koehler told the BBC that most migrants had been caught at the border by Hungarian authorities and then taken to a waiting car and driven to a holding facility where they were beaten, kicked, and sexually assaulted.
The IRC, which is campaigning for better conditions for migrants in Austria and Hungary, also reported that the Hungarian authorities were not allowing refugees to stay in the country.
“The Hungarian authorities are not allowing any refugees to remain in Hungary because they are not being allowed to cross the border.
So people are coming to Austria and trying to go to Hungary,” he said.
More than 10,000 people have arrived in Austria by boat so far this year, compared to less than a third in the same period last year.