Police were called in the Pest County town of Perbál on Friday after local residents spotted three students from Sri Lanka and mistook them for illegal migrants, mno.hu reports. The three young Sri Lankans had come to work as volunteers in a home for injured and mentally disabled people in Perbál, and had scarcely been in Hungary one day before attracting police attention.
According to a Facebook post from a resident, the students, who have dark hair and skin, were spotted waiting for a bus to Budapest when police were called. The students are participating in a six-week volunteer program under the auspices of AIESEC, a UN-related global youth non-profit, where they assist at the Tovább Élni Egyesület (Live Longer Association), a Perbál home for injured and disabled children and adults.
In the local man’s Facebook post, he “assures everyone that they are not migrants. They have passports, visas, student cards and plane tickets back home. So you don’t have to call the police again, once was enough for them.”
AIESEC also commented on the incident, writing that “They came here to work as volunteers without pay with injured children and adults for the benefit of Hungarian society. They aren’t doing any harm, but rather giving to us. They aren’t taking our opportunities but creating them for the people they work with.”