Hungary is to split up families found illegally crossing its borders following state of emergency declarations in two of its southern counties.
Any minor found without the correct documents will be taken from their parents and placed in “children’s institutions”.
Meanwhile the parents will be put in one of two holding areas called “transit zones” while they await trial for illegally crossing the border – a crime now punishable with a prison sentence.
The new law came into effect at midnight on Monday as authorities sealed a railway crossing point that had been used by tens of thousands of migrants.
Hundreds of migrants are thought to be stranded at the Serbia-Hungary border after the Hungarian government closed the frontier with a new razor-wire fence.
On Monday night, Hungarian military trucks cleared the makeshift refugee camp near the village of Roszke, as part of the government’s effort to tighten up border controls.
Figures showed that a record 7,437 people entered Hungary from Serbia on Monday.