Are you under 18 and arriving from Ukraine? If you are, this information is for you😉! You will find official information about helpful services created to support children and young people who have had to leave 🇺🇦 Ukraine and are now in Hungary 🇭🇺 🤝.
I’m under 18, what do I need to know about my rights here?
You are welcome in Hungary and have the right to stay in 🇭🇺 Hungary for at least 30 days 🙌. You and your family are legally safe here and no-one has the right to force you to go back to Ukraine or to another country. The government authorities, many local and international organisations are here to help you. You can get help with accommodation, food, transport, health and schooling for you and your family, but you have to know where to go. You can find more information about this here. As a child, you have special rights such as the right to stay with your family, to go to school, play and get help if you have been hurt and to have your ideas and views taken seriously.
What else should I know? ⚠️
Keep your documents safe 🛂: It is very important to keep any identity documents (like an ID card or passport) in a safe place. Do not let someone take your documents away, even if they are offering to help you find housing or transportation.
Help is free to all people 🤝: Nobody is allowed to make you work or ask for sexual or other favours (things or money) in exchange for help. If anyone does this, you can report them to the police or UNHCR and ask for help
Ask adults you trust to help keep you safe 👨 👩🦱👵 🧓: If a stranger offers to take you away from your family to give you something, say ‘no’ and tell an adult you trust. Never agree to meet a stranger without first talking to an adult you trust. If you are in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, tell someone you trust and ask for help. ⚠️ REMEMBER: it is not your fault, and you are not to blame.
I need help – who should I ask?
There are many organisations here to help – the authorities of Hungary, local associations and people such as border guards, police officers, social workers, psychologists, medical staff, teachers, and organisations. You can find more information about services for new arrivals from Ukraine here.
I am Ukrainian; can I stay in Hungary?
Children and their families fleeing from Ukraine have been welcomed by countries in the region and are able to stay in 🇭🇺 Hungary for at least 30 days – 90 with a biometric passport 👍🏾. If you want to stay in Hungary after this time, you can apply for Temporary Protection. If you stay in Hungary and get Temporary Protection, you will get help with accommodation, food, transport, health and schooling for you and your family.
When you arrive at the border, you will be asked to show your personal identification, so remember to bring your most important documents if you can (internal passport, foreign passport, birth certificates). If you do not have these, do not worry, the border guards will still let you in and give a Temporary Residence Certificate (called “ideiglenes tartózkodásra jogosító igazolás” in Hungarian). This will let you stay in the country for 30 days and you can apply to extend it before the end of those 30 days.
I am a non-Ukrainian; can I stay in Hungary?
If you are not from Ukraine but were living in Ukraine before you had to leave, you will unfortunately not be able to apply for Temporary Protection in Hungary, but you can get a Temporary Residence Certificate (called “ideiglenes tartózkodásra jogosító igazolás” in Hungarian). This will let you stay in Hungary for up to 30 days and you can apply to extend it later. It is a good idea to contact UNHCR or the Hungarian Helsinki Committee for advice. You can reach them on this phone +36 70 302 6219 (Russian language help available Mondays 12-16, Wednesdays 14-18, Fridays 10-14).
Can I travel to another country? ✈️ 🚗
If you and your parents are traveling to other countries in the European Union that allow travel without a visa – the Schengen area- you will need a biometric passport. Biometric passports have an icon on the front that looks like an equal sign with a dot. If you do not have a biometric passport, you will not be able to travel freely to these countries even if your parents have one, unless you have been added to your parent’s passport. For more information about arriving or services in other countries, see the UNHCR site for that country.
Someone has hurt me or someone I know, or I am afraid that they will. What should I do? 🤷
✋No one has the right to abuse, neglect or mistreat any child or their families – not strangers or even parents, relatives, or teachers👋. If someone has hurt you or touched or treated you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable or scared, or if you are afraid that someone will, there are adults and organisations that can help you. You can also agree on secret word or phrase to use with family and friends in case you feel in danger so that they know you are in trouble.
If you contact UNHCR, we will do our best to help you. Or you can call the Hungarian Crisis Management hotline +36-80/20-55-20 📞.
If you are afraid that you or someone you know is being taken anywhere for work or school or to stay without them wanting to, you can call the Crisis Management hotline above.
REMEMBER that this is not your fault, and you are not to blame. It is important that you receive the help you need. You don’t need to be ashamed or shy to ask for help. If you have someone you trust, talk to them about it.
If you need more information or assistance, you can get in touch with UNHCR directly.
I am planning to travel in or to Hungary. Some people are offering free transport. What shall I do? 🚌 🚗
🛑 Do NOT 🛑 accept offers for free transport from strangers unless you can be sure it is a safe and organised travel being supported by authorities or organisations helping those leaving Ukraine. Try to get as much information as you can about who you are travelling with, what route you will take, the address you will be staying and anyone else who may be there too and share that information with other trusted persons. Ask the people organising the transport if the person you are going with has been registered with the local authorities and what to do in case something goes wrong. They should also tell you where you need to report the fact that you got to where you were going safely.
If a person offers you free transport but cannot give you this information and has not been checked by authorities, report them to an adult you trust, the police, or organisation present.
How can I contact UNHCR?
You can contact us by email or on the phone. It’s a good idea to talk to your parents or a trusted adult first, but you can also contact us on your own. Make sure you tell us your name, age, and your phone /WhatsApp/Telegram/ Viber number or email address, or any other way to get in touch with you. It’s also a good idea to tell us the names of your parents if they are in Hungary with you. If you are not with your parents, you should also tell us that. Be careful when giving us this information, make sure that nobody can copy it or find it later. If you are using a shared computer to send us an email, make sure you sign out of your account when you are finished 🖥.
- If it is an emergency, call 112!
- You may contact the UNHCR Refugee Helpline Toll-Free number: +3680984583 (Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm)
- UNHCR email: [email protected]
How do I know who to trust?
Many people want to help and are offering support, but it is important to know who to trust. People working with organisations should wear a vest, jacket, or carry an ID card with a logo. If you are not sure, you can ask to see their organization’s ID. You have the right to refuse support if you are not sure who they are or don’t feel comfortable. It’s sometimes hard to know who to trust, so you can ask an adult you trust or who is working with organisations registered to help and has an ID. ✋ Do not hand your documents to anyone who is not working for an organization registered to help and has an ID ✋.
You can also go to the UNHCR’s Help site for information you can trust.
I want to go back to school as soon as possible. What should I do? 🏫 🎒 📚
You have a right to go to school and you do not have to pay extra compared to children from Hungary. If you are not going to school, the first thing you need to do is get registered for school. Public schools are free.
The process for registering can change depending on the type of school, you need to go to the nearest school to where you are staying and ask there. If you have any questions about going to school, you can contact Menedek Association.
I am in Hungary with my family. 👩👧👦How can I make sure we stay together and safe?
After all that you have been through, it is important to do everything you can to stay together with your parents or family. Simple things can help a lot. Try to travel together and find housing together.
- If you are in a new place: first explore it together with your family or other people you trust 👣
- When you go outside: first tell a parent or someone you trust that you are leaving, where you are going, and when you are coming back.
- Always carry phone numbers of your parents or family, but be careful not to let strangers copy them or take them from you
- Know the address where you and your family are staying and share it with someone you trust
- Plan together for what to do if you are separated from your family.
I’m staying in Hungary without my parents or family members. What kind of help can I get?
If you are travelling or staying in Hungary without your parents, make sure you tell the police and the organisations giving help to children where you are. They will help you stay safe.
If you are with other family members, you can stay with them. It is still important to talk to government authorities, UNHCR, or other organisations and tell them who your parents are, where you think they are, and any contact information you have.
If you are in danger or need immediate help, you can call the Hungarian emergency number 112 for free 📞.
I’m staying in Hungary without my parents or family members and I do not know where they are. What should I do?
If you don’t know where your parents or other relatives are and cannot contact them let us know❗️
It’s not always easy or possible to find people or to get families back together, we can try helping you to try to find them and get in touch with them either directly or, with your permission, through another organization who can help. It may be difficult to find parents or relatives who are still in Ukraine right now, but it is important to tell us as much information as you can about them to help find them when this is possible. Your parents can also be looking for you and have given their details to other organisations working to get families back together. Telling us your situation can help make the connection when this is possible. You can find out more about finding your family in Hungary and options about joining them in another country by contacting UNHCR.
You may contact the UNHCR Refugee Helpline Toll-Free number: +3680984583 (Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm).