Europe

Hungary building 2nd border fence to stop migrants

  • FILE - In this April 3, 2016 file photo Hungarian army soldiers build a temporary protective fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia near Kelebia, 178 km southeast of Budapest, Hungary. Hungary has begun building a second fence on its border with Serbia meant to stop migrants and refugees from freely entering the country as a government spokesman confirmed Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (Zoltan Gergely Kelemen/MTI via AP, file)

    FILE - In this April 3, 2016 file photo Hungarian army soldiers build a temporary protective fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia near Kelebia, 178 km southeast of Budapest, Hungary. Hungary has begun building a second fence on its border with Serbia meant to stop migrants and refugees from freely entering the country as a government spokesman confirmed Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (Zoltan Gergely Kelemen/MTI via AP, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 5, 2016 file photo a Hungarian police vehicle patrols by the border fence between Hungary and Serbia near Asotthalom, Hungary. Hungary has begun building a second fence on its border with Serbia meant to stop migrants and refugees from freely entering the country as a government spokesman confirmed Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (Edvard Molnar/MTI via AP, file)

    FILE - In this July 5, 2016 file photo a Hungarian police vehicle patrols by the border fence between Hungary and Serbia near Asotthalom, Hungary. Hungary has begun building a second fence on its border with Serbia meant to stop migrants and refugees from freely entering the country as a government spokesman confirmed Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (Edvard Molnar/MTI via AP, file)  (The Associated Press)

Hungary has begun building a second fence on its border with Serbia to stop migrants from freely entering the country.

The government spokesman's office confirmed a report published Monday in pro-government newspaper Magyar Idok.

Hungary built a barrier along the length of its borders with Serbia and Croatia in 2015. The government says the second fence is needed because it expects a surge of migrants to reach its borders this year.

Human rights advocates have been strongly critical of Hungary's migration policies, including measures that would lock asylum-seekers in border camps made of shipping containers while their cases are decided.

In a letter to the European Commission, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Human Rights Watch said the planned legal changes in Hungary would go against EU rules by, for example, "severely" limiting refugees' access to asylum.