• Jul 18, 2012
  • Mar 6, 2015
    The Brighton Declaration of 2012 recognized that the long-term sustainability of the European Convention must be built around better national implementation of Convention rights at the domestic level. Greater respect for human rights at home remains the most important way to ensure both the Convention and the Court function effectively.
  • Feb 25, 2015
    On the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa stands a graveyard filled with simple wooden crosses. We don’t know the names and stories of those buried there, except that they perished at sea trying to reach Europe, fleeing conflict in Syria, human-rights abuses in Somalia and Eritrea, poverty in West Africa.
  • Feb 22, 2015
    The House of Lords should amend the Modern Slavery Bill to restore the right for migrant domestic workers to change employers, Human Rights Watch and the United Kingdom charity Kalayaan said today. The bill is being considered in the House of Lords, the UK’s upper chamber of parliament, during the week of February 23, 2015.
  • Feb 22, 2015
    The European Union special representative for human rights should use his visit to Azerbaijan beginning February 23, 2015, to insist that the authorities release dozens of activists and journalists imprisoned on politically motivated charges, Human Rights Watch, International Partnership for Human Rights, and Front Line Defenders said today.
  • Feb 20, 2015
    “Aman.” a 29-year-old Eritrean, had just described his arduous journey to Europe when I heard the news about hundreds of deaths in the Mediterranean.
  • Feb 19, 2015
    Greece’s new government should move quickly to tackle longstanding human rights violations.
  • Feb 18, 2015
    When I was a child, my mother used to tell me how when he was only 11 years old, my grandfather left his hometown of Danzig (now Gdansk, in Poland), and traveled alone on a boat to England. My grandfather is Jewish and the trip saved his life.
  • Feb 18, 2015
    Since the ruling party Fidesz won its first two-third majority term in April 2010 and renewed in the April 2014 election win, it has used its supermajority in the country’s unicameral parliament to adopt far reaching legal changes including a new constitution and over 1000 laws in parliament with limited or no meaningful public consultation.
  • Feb 18, 2015

    Brussels has done virtually nothing about Hungary’s problematic laws and practices concerning human rights since the European Commission in March 2014 created a “rule of law” measure to address serious abuses in EU member states, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

  • Jan 29, 2015
    European Union leaders during 2014 were too often willing to sideline human rights at home when expedient in a year marked by success for populist and Eurosceptic parties in European Parliament elections and beyond, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. It highlights developments in 10 EU member states, EU human rights foreign policy, and Union-wide developments on migration and asylum, discrimination and intolerance, and counterterrorism.
  • Jan 20, 2015
    Asylum seekers and migrants living in destitution in the port city of Calais experience harassment and abuse at the hands of French police. The abuses described to Human Rights Watch include beatings and attacks with pepper spray as the migrants and asylum seekers walked in the street or hid in trucks in the hope of traveling to the United Kingdom.
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Dec 10, 2014
    Listening to the debate in Europe on the threat from the extremist group Islamic State (IS) and returning fighters feels like Groundhog Day. Its black-and-white presentation, the existential nature of the alleged threat, the notion that governments should stop at nothing in responding—these were all characteristic of the discussion on countering al-Qaeda, particularly in the wake of the 2004 Madrid and 2005 London attacks.
  • Dec 2, 2014
    A few hours after a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira issued several tweets demonstrating a keen interest in issues of racial discrimination. One tweet reads “Michael Brown, Racial profiling, social exclusion, territorial segregation, cultural relegation… arms, fear… a fatal cocktail!”
  • Nov 24, 2014
    The Spanish Congress should amend a deeply flawed public security bill that would curb spontaneous protest and formalize abusive expulsions of asylum seekers. The congressional committee on home affairs is due to adopt the bill on November 25, 2014, after which the bill will go the plenary for debate and vote in the coming days.
  • Nov 19, 2014
    We write to you in connection with the death of Rémi Fraisse on the night of October 25 during a demonstration against the construction of the Sivens dam in the Tarn area. We would be grateful if you could provide us with further information on the investigations that have been opened into his death, and the steps you have taken to ensure those investigations are effective.
  • Nov 17, 2014
    The United Kingdom House of Lords should amend a draft law on “modern slavery” to include protections from abuse for migrant domestic workers. The upper chamber of the UK parliament is scheduled to begin its review of the bill on November 17, 2014.
  • Nov 7, 2014
    Twenty-five years ago, in November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. Over the course of one weekend, some two million jubilant East Germans breached the Wall and crossed into West Berlin to greet family, friends, and countrymen from whom they had been forcibly separated for more than twenty-eight years.
  • Nov 6, 2014
    The undersigned organizations are writing to express their grave concern in relation to proposed changes to Spanish immigration law that would formalize the documented practice of summary expulsions to Morocco from Spain’s enclaves in North Africa. These practices and the proposed amendment violate not only Spain’s obligations under international human rights law but also European Union law, in particular the Asylum Procedures Directive, the Schengen Borders Code, the Return Directive, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
  • Nov 4, 2014
    We drove up a narrow, winding road, with trees on both sides for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, at the top of the hill, there it was: a three-building complex with a sign on the gate that read “Psihijatrijska bolnica Lopača” (Psychiatric Hospital “Lopača”).
  • Nov 4, 2014
    The undersigned organizations are writing to urge you to vote against proposed changes to Spanish immigration law that would facilitate summary returns from Spain’s enclaves in North Africa in violation of European and international human rights law.
  • Nov 4, 2014
    The undersigned organizations are writing to urge you to withdraw proposed changes to Spanish immigration law that would facilitate summary returns from Spain’s enclaves in North Africa in violation of European and international human rights law.
  • Oct 30, 2014
    The Spanish government should immediately drop its plans to provide a legal basis for summary returns from its enclaves in North Africa, 13 human rights groups said today.
  • Oct 30, 2014
    The undersigned organizations are writing to urge you to use your mandate to make an urgent appeal to the Spanish government to withdraw proposed changes to Spanish immigration law that would facilitate summary returns from Spain’s enclaves in North Africa in violation of European and international human rights law.
  • Oct 30, 2014
    The undersigned organizations are writing to urge you to use your mandate to make an urgent appeal to the Spanish government to withdraw proposed changes to Spanish immigration law that would facilitate summary returns from Spain’s enclaves in North Africa in violation of EU and international human rights law.
  • Oct 23, 2014
    Perugia’s public prosecutor should immediately drop charges against six gay rights activists accused of disturbing the peace because they kissed during a demonstration in March 2014. The public prosecutor’s office notified the six of the charges on October 7.
  • Oct 21, 2014
    Spanish authorities should investigate the beating and pushback of a man by Guardia Civil officers in Melilla on October 15, 2014.
  • Oct 8, 2014
    European Union member states’ justice and home affairs ministers meeting in Luxembourg should take forward a comprehensive and collective EU response to search and rescue needs in the central Mediterranean to urgently save lives.
  • Oct 4, 2014
    Human Rights Watch respectfully submits the following information to David Anderson QC for the Investigatory Powers Review.
  • Sep 28, 2014
    UK political parties should commit to protecting the UK’s Human Rights Act (HRA) and upholding the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) if they win the May 2015 general election.
  • Sep 28, 2014
  • Sep 23, 2014
    The Open Society Justice Initiative and Human Rights Watch urge the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe to stress in his upcoming report on France the urgent need to put in place effective measures to address ethnic profiling.
  • Sep 19, 2014
    The Belgian authorities’ arrest of a Liberian for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during Liberia’s first civil war is a major advance for justice. It is the first arrest for crimes that violate international law committed during the conflict in Liberia from 1989 to 1996, which left tens of thousands dead.
  • Sep 18, 2014
    In the 1980s and early 1990s, a large number of Afghans fled to the Netherlands to escape the dire situation in their own country. But they weren't the only ones who left. Senior government officials, including agents of the secret service - the dreaded KhAD - who had engaged in human rights violations also landed on Dutch soil.
  • Sep 17, 2014
    Bulgarian border police have in the past month forced Syrian asylum seekers back to Turkey and beaten some of them.
  • Sep 17, 2014
    The Italian Navy’s twitter feed contained joyous news last week: a pregnant mother among the 90 people rescued from the sea by a Navy frigate had given birth on board to a little girl, Yambambi. Over that weekend more than 1,600 people were rescued.
  • Sep 17, 2014
    This submission highlights concerns about Bulgaria’s compliance with its international human rights obligations. It focuses on the treatment of asylum seekers and migrants, including concerns about summary returns of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers to Turkey, accompanied in some cases by violent abuses by Bulgarian border guards; abuses and poor conditions in migrant detention centers; lack of specialized protection for unaccompanied migrant children; and the failure to support and integrate refugees.
  • Sep 17, 2014
    This submission highlights Human Rights Watch’s concerns in Croatia, including developments in relation to human rights concerns identified during Croatia’s first Universal Periodic Review in 2009.It focuses on the rights of people with mental or intellectual disabilities; inadequate safeguards for unaccompanied migrant children, the human rights of minorities and accountability for war crimes.
  • Sep 8, 2014
  • Sep 4, 2014
    The UK government should address, not dismiss, evidence that employers have abused migrant domestic workers in the UK, Human Rights Watch and the UK charity Kalayaan said today. A draft law before parliament is aimed at combating forced labor and other criminal offences but does not address a visa system that contributes to the abuse of migrant domestic workers by their employers.
  • Aug 17, 2014
    Spain should immediately halt summary returns of migrants to Morocco from its North African enclave, Melilla. Spain should also investigate evidence that Guardia Civil officers beat migrants at the border fence.
  • Jul 31, 2014

    Human Rights Watch welcomes the upcoming review of Spain by the Human Rights Committee. This briefing provides an overview of our main concerns with regard to Spain’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). We hope it will inform the Committee’s pre-sessional review of Spain and that the areas of concern highlighted here will be reflected in the list of issues submitted to the Spanish government ahead of the review.

  • Jul 31, 2014

    Human Rights Watch welcomes the upcoming review of the United Kingdom (UK) by the Human Rights Committee. This briefing provides an overview of our main concerns with regard to the UK’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). We hope it will inform the Committee’s pre-sessional review of the UK and that the areas of concern highlighted here will be reflected in the list of issues submitted to the UK government ahead of the review.

  • Jul 17, 2014
    Governments around the world should heed the findings of the UN’s human rights commissioner on mass surveillance. Governments should rein in mass surveillance and respect the privacy of all Internet users, no matter where they are located.
  • Jul 14, 2014
    Emergency legislation announced by the UK government on July 10, 2014, that would grant the British intelligence and law enforcement agencies access to data about millions of people’s communications is a blow to the right to privacy.
  • Jul 7, 2014
    An Italian naval vessel made a grim discovery in the Mediterranean Sea last month. Alerted that a 20-meter fishing vessel was in distress, the crew located and began evacuating the 600 or so migrants on board. The Italian navy captain told the BBC that his crew had also found dead bodies packed in a hold on the ship.
  • Jul 4, 2014
    The undersigned organizations are writing to urge your mandates to address an appeal to the Spanish government regarding the draft bill “[for the protection of the life of the fetus and of the rights of pregnant women]” approved by the Council of Ministers in Spain in December 2013.
  • Jul 2, 2014
    The European Court of Human Rights’ ruling approving France’s blanket ban on full-face veils undermines Muslim women’s rights. The ban interferes with women’s rights to express their religion and beliefs freely and to personal autonomy.
  • Jun 25, 2014
    A 16 year-old boy is fighting for his life in a Paris hospital. On June 13, Darius was found by a neighbor in a supermarket cart, unconscious, on the side of a road.
  • Jun 24, 2014
    The Netherlands, Denmark, and Ireland have moved to improve the rights of transgender people. However, each country retains some requirements that undermine the right of transgender people to have their identity reflected in law.
  • Jun 19, 2014
    Europe is in a grumpy mood these days. The scale of voter disenchantment with the EU was manifest in May’s European Parliament election results, with Eurosceptic parties topping the polls in France, the UK and Denmark and winning seats in Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands, Greece, Sweden and elsewhere.
  • Jun 13, 2014
    It’s been a bad month for media freedom in Hungary. It started with a May 25 Constitutional Court decision that website operators are responsible for any comments to blog posts or news commentary that may violate the media law.
  • Jun 5, 2014
    Human Rights Watch welcomes the upcoming review of France by the Human Rights Committee. This briefing provides an overview of our main concerns with regard to France’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). We hope it will inform the Committee’s pre-sessional review of France and that the areas of concern highlighted here will be reflected in the list of issues submitted to the French government ahead of the review.
  • Jun 4, 2014
    European Union ministers meeting in Luxembourg on June 5, 2014, should back stronger action to save migrant and refugee lives at sea.
  • Jun 4, 2014
    The US has taken some modest steps toward reform. But the initial steps taken across the Atlantic only serve to highlight the deafening silence and lack of public debate here in the UK.
  • Jun 3, 2014
    Political analysts, the media, political parties and even Prime Minister Antonis Samaras have been trying to figure out the shocking rise of the far-right, anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party in Greece. Golden Dawn became Greece's third most important political party, with nearly 10 percent of the vote in the European elections.
  • May 27, 2014
    The Spanish government has taken insufficient action to alleviate the impact of the housing and debt crisis in Spain on vulnerable groups, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Tens of thousands of families have faced, or are currently facing, foreclosure on homes they bought at the height of Spain’s economic boom, when irresponsible lending made mortgages easy to come by.
  • May 19, 2014
    The Bulgarian guards found us, pointed their guns at us and started beating us,” the 25-year-old Afghan said, describing what happened to him on 11 January. “Afterward, they put us in the car and took us to the border. They took all our phones and money and any valuables we had. Before releasing us, they beat us again and pointed to Turkey and told us to go there.”
  • May 19, 2014
    The announcement on 13 May by the International Criminal Court prosecutor that she is reopening a 'preliminary examination' into alleged British war crimes in Iraq seems to have taken many in the UK by surprise. But it's less surprising to anyone who has followed the obstructive way UK authorities have handled numerous allegations of detainee abuse in Iraq.
  • May 15, 2014
  • May 14, 2014
    My twitter feed on Monday was full of the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean. At least 17 people died when an overcrowded boat sank on the crossing from Libya to Italy, with many more still unaccounted for. We don’t know their names or their stories. They join the grim toll of perhaps 20,000 people over the last decade whose lives have ended trying to reach Europe for protection or a better life.
  • May 13, 2014
    Law 1/2013, enacted a year ago, was meant to be the government’s definitive response to the mortgage crisis. The law came after two royal-decrees, a condemnation by the EU Court of Justice and significant social pressure from the Platform of Mortgage Victims (PAH) and other groups.
  • May 11, 2014
  • May 11, 2014
    The Spanish government should protect women’s access to safe and legal abortion by scrapping draft legislation that would ban abortion with only severely limited exceptions, according to a letter sent today to Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón by six national and international groups. The bill, endorsed by the government in December 2013 but not yet introduced in parliament, would turn back the clock on women’s reproductive rights in Spain.
  • May 9, 2014
    An opinion survey released on May 9, 2014, highlights public discontent with discriminatory police identity checks in France. The survey was carried out on behalf of Graines de France, a Paris-based research organization focused on poor neighborhoods, together with Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Justice Initiative.
  • Apr 29, 2014
    The new Hungarian government should ensure that its laws and practices match its international and regional human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch said in a letter today to Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Orban’s party, which heads the governing coalition, retained power after winning elections on April 6, 2014.
  • Apr 29, 2014
  • Apr 28, 2014
    Bulgaria has embarked on a “Containment Plan” to reduce the number of asylum seekers in the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The plan has been carried out in part by summarily pushing back Syrians, Afghans, and others as they irregularly cross the border from Turkey.
  • Apr 8, 2014
    We are writing in response to the government’s announcement on 19 December 2013 that the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has been tasked with examining allegations of UK complicity in torture and other ill-treatment of detainees held overseas; allegations that previously had been the subject of the Detainee Inquiry, chaired by Sir Peter Gibson.
  • Apr 8, 2014
    France detains as many as 500 children who arrive in the country alone each year in transit zones at the borders, where they are denied the protection and due process rights afforded other unaccompanied children on French territory. Any unaccompanied child who arrives in France should be admitted to the country and provided with shelter and care while their immigration claims are decided.
  • Apr 7, 2014
    The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has committed to abolish what she calls "modern day slavery", and within weeks will present a bill to parliament making it easier to prosecute and punish those responsible for human trafficking, forced labour, domestic servitude and slavery. But one highly vulnerable group - migrant domestic workers - are currently omitted from the scope of the proposed legislation. The government is doing far too little to protect them, and through changes to immigration rules, has actually made it harder for them to access help.
  • Mar 31, 2014
    The European Union (EU)-Africa summit provides an important opportunity to highlight crucial human rights developments in both Africa and Europe. Progress is being made on many human rights issues in an array of countries, but daunting challenges remain. The summit agenda includes both democracy and governance and peace and security, two broad topics that include a range of human rights concerns.
  • Mar 30, 2014
    Migrant domestic workers accompanying their employers to the United Kingdom are being subjected to serious abuses including forced labor, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The UK government is doing far too little to protect vulnerable workers, and recent changes to UK immigration rules make it harder for workers to flee abuse, the report found.
  • Mar 25, 2014
    The Greek government should immediately drop plans that would deter migrant victims from reporting law enforcement abuse. The government should also reintroduce measures to protect undocumented victims and witnesses of crimes, including racist violence. Parliament is debating these issues as it examines a draft immigration code.
  • Mar 23, 2014
    Spanish and Moroccan authorities should affirm procedures to protect rights for migrants and reject summary returns at the border.
  • Mar 19, 2014
    The European Commission’s much-awaited “rule of law mechanism” will need some boosting if it is to bring about real results. The tool, announced on 11 March, is the commission’s response to calls by EU member states, the European Parliament, and civil society groups for an enhanced EU capacity to address threats to its founding values.
  • Mar 17, 2014
    On March 14, 2014, over 100 nongovernmental organizations, including Human Rights Watch, sent an open letter to leaders of EU institutions calling for concerted action to give refugees from Syria a safe way into Europe, protect refugees arriving at Europe’s borders, and reunite families torn apart by the crisis.
  • Mar 11, 2014
    Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón’s plan to turn back the clock on access to abortion has enraged women across Spain, exposed deep divisions within the ruling Popular Party, and threatens to put Spain out of step with the vast majority of EU member states. Restricting safe and legal abortions will also put Spain at odds with many of its obligations to respect rights under international law, and expose it to intense scrutiny by international human rights bodies.
  • Mar 10, 2014
    Human Rights Watch submits the following information to the Committee’s Privacy and Security Inquiry, based on public statements by Human Rights Watch following the publication by the Guardian of revelations on surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). Firstly, we highlight the urgent need for clarity from the government as to the scope and magnitude of the alleged surveillance by GCHQ. Secondly, the law governing surveillance must be brought up to date in a way that protects the right to privacy and, thirdly, the government should create a more robust and transparent oversight authority to protect against breaches of that right.
  • Jan 30, 2014
    Members of Greece’s parliament should urgently establish an inquiry into all allegations of collective expulsions, pushbacks, and dangerous maneuvers by the Greek Coast Guard on Greece’s sea borders with Turkey. Twelve women and children died off the Greek island of Farmakonisi on January 20, 2014, in what survivors allege was a push-back operation in poor weather.
  • Jan 30, 2014
    When a newspaper began publishing a government minister’s schedule every day, it might have passed unobserved or even been seen as a public service. But this is Italy, the newspaper is the official organ of the xenophobic Northern League, and the public official is Integration Minister Cécile Kyenge, the country’s first black cabinet minister.
  • Jan 21, 2014
    European Union (EU) leaders in 2013 acknowledged problems of rising intolerance and persistent human rights violations across the EU, but failed to take concerted action, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014.
  • Jan 20, 2014
    There have been repeated claims of UK complicity in the alleged torture of individuals detained abroad. The government’s latest move in the saga does not suggest a desire to get to the bottom of them.
  • Jan 9, 2014
    The French authorities should not extradite Mukhtar Ablyazov, a recognized refugee and an outspoken government critic, to Kazakhstan. In Kazakhstan, he would be at serious risk of ill-treatment and would face a flagrant denial of his fair trial rights. The French authorities also should not send Ablyazov to any country that might return him to Kazakhstan.
  • Dec 26, 2013
    The French government has declared to the world its commitment to the right to privacy offline and online, supporting the United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution passed on December 18 on the right to privacy in the digital age.
  • Dec 23, 2013
    Over the last five years, grievances over austerity measures and a sense of economic injustice have made raucous, disruptive, but peaceful protest a part of life in Spain. The country’s vibrant social movements have set up protest camps in city plazas, mobilized huge demonstrations, organized flash mobs in front of politicians’ homes, and blocked hundreds of evictions from foreclosed homes. It looks like Spain’s central government wants all that to stop.
  • Dec 21, 2013
    The report of an uncompleted inquiry into UK involvement in renditions and overseas torture underscores the need for a full accounting. The government, which received the report in June 2012, finally published it on December 19, 2013.
  • Dec 5, 2013
    Fear of detention and deportation prevent many undocumented migrants from reporting attacks. As Human Rights Watch has documented, many other victims don’t report attacks to the police because of lack of trust.
  • Nov 20, 2013
  • Nov 15, 2013
    The European Union should ensure that human rights are at the core of its relationships with the countries involved in the Eastern Partnership. On November 28 and 29, 2013, the EU will convene a summit of its eastern neighbors in Vilnius, at which it is expected to lay the foundation for deeper political and economic ties with several partnership countries.
  • Nov 11, 2013
    Is the UK a passionate defender of human rights? Given the way senior members of the government have attacked them in recent months, you wouldn’t think so. Yet this week the UK, alongside France, will be voted onto the UN Human Rights Council, tasked with addressing abuses around the world.
  • Nov 7, 2013
    I met Veronika, a 33-year-old woman from a small village in Hungary at a shelter for domestic violence survivors on a rainy day in March. She was initially terrified of talking to me, fearing that her partner would be able to identify and find her. She had visible knife wounds and cuts from lashes on her body, as well as scars she said were from sword cuts to her throat during years of violent abuse.
  • Nov 6, 2013
    Police inaction, ineffective restraining orders, insufficient shelter spaces, and legal and policy gaps leave women survivors of domestic violence in Hungary at risk of further abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
  • Nov 6, 2013
  • Nov 5, 2013
    In many places around the world, Human Rights Watch exposes abuses of state power and the absence of effective accountability over the agencies of the state – both factors highly relevant to the issue we are discussing here tonight.
  • Nov 4, 2013
    When I was growing up in Greece, my grandparents often told me that if I didn’t eat my food, they would call the Gypsies to take me away. Sadly, the old myths about Roma snatching babies were revived after police took a little blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl named Maria into custody in a Roma settlement in Farsala, central Greece, on October 16.
  • Oct 28, 2013
  • Oct 23, 2013
    The tragedy in the southern Mediterranean Sea in the early hours of October 3 -- in which more than 350 Eritrean refugees drowned in a shipwreck off Lampedusa, near Sicily -- shook Europe, and rightfully so.
  • Oct 23, 2013
    European Union heads of state meeting in Brussels on October 24 and 25, 2013, should urgently adopt measures to improve sea rescues of migrants and asylum seekers trying to reach Europe. The summit should also pledge more measures to facilitate access for refugees from Syria and protect their rights as they increasingly turn to dangerous boat migration.