Reports

Inadequate Housing and Social Support for Families Seeking Asylum in the United Kingdom

The 100-page report, “‘I Felt So Stuck’: Inadequate Housing and Social Support for Families Seeking Asylum in the United Kingdom,” found that families seeking asylum face inhumane conditions in temporary housing, including rat infestation and mould. The families experience daily struggles to get food their children will eat, as well as mental and physical health problems and serious disruptions to their children’s education.

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  • In recent years, less than 4 percent of people sentenced to life without parole in California have been released due to changes in state law and executive power. At the time research began, there were only 143 people who fit this description. This report focuses on the historic release of these individuals and examines the positive contributions they have made with their second chances.
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  • Pushbacks of People Seeking Protection from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina

    The 94-page report, “‘Like We Were Just Animals’: Pushbacks of People Seeking Protection from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina,” finds that Croatian authorities engage in pushbacks, including of unaccompanied children and families with young children. The practice is ongoing despite official denials, purported monitoring efforts, and repeated – and unfulfilled – commitments to respect the right to seek asylum and other human rights norms. Border police frequently steal or destroy phones, money, identity documents, and other personal property, and often subject children and adults to humiliating and degrading treatment, sometimes in ways that are explicitly racist.
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  • The Consequences of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine for Children in Ukrainian Residential Institutions

    The 55-page report, “We Must Provide a Family, Not Rebuild Orphanages,” documents risks to children from institutions in areas directly affected by the conflict as well as those evacuated to other areas of Ukraine or to European countries. According to government figures, Ukraine had more than 105,000 children in institutions before Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, the largest number in Europe. Nearly half were children with disabilities, according to UNICEF. Russia bears responsibility for the crisis facing these children, but the war adds to the urgency for Ukraine, with support from foreign governments and humanitarian agencies, to stop institutionalizing children and expand family- and community-based care.

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  • How Florida Judges Obstruct Young People’s Ability to Obtain Abortion Care

    The 39-page report, “Access Denied: How Florida Judges Obstruct Young People’s Ability to Obtain Abortion Care,” documents how in Florida many judges deny young people’s petitions, forcing them to continue a pregnancy against their wishes, travel outside the state, or seek a way to manage abortion outside the health system. Judges have the power to make highly subjective determinations about a young person’s maturity and interests. Vague criteria in state law enable highly arbitrary decision-making, with judges making decisions based on factors such as the young person’s grades and impressions of their demeanor during a nerve-wracking hearing.

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  • Experiences of Children Repatriated from Camps for ISIS Suspects and Their Families in Northeast Syria

    The 63-page report, “‘My Son is Just Another Kid’: Experiences of Children Repatriated from Camps for ISIS Suspects and Their Families in Northeast Syria,” documents the experiences of approximately 100 children who have been repatriated or returned to France, Germany, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan between 2019 and 2022. Human Rights Watch found that despite years of detention in life-threatening conditions with insufficient water, fresh food, and health care, and little to no access to education, many of the children appear to be adjusting well and performing well in school. Many have reintegrated smoothly and enjoy a wide range of activities with their peers, including football, skating, cycling, dancing, crafts, and music.

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  • The Family Separation Crisis in the US Child Welfare System

    The 147-page report, “‘If I Wasn’t Poor, I Wouldn’t Be Unfit’: The Family Separation Crisis in the US Child Welfare System,” documents how conditions of poverty, such as a family’s struggle to pay rent or maintain housing, are misconstrued as neglect, and interpreted as evidence of an inability and lack of fitness to parent. Human Rights Watch and the ACLU found significant racial and socioeconomic disparities in child welfare involvement. Black children are almost twice as likely to experience investigations as white children and more likely to be separated from their families.

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  • Impact of the Armed Conflict in Syria on Children with Disabilities

    The 71-page report, “‘It Was Really Hard to Protect Myself’: Impact of the Armed Conflict in Syria on Children with Disabilities,” details the abuses faced by children with disabilities, including a heightened risk during attacks and a lack of access to the basic support services they need. The absence of inclusive and universal programs – including in education, delivery of humanitarian aid, and mental health and psychosocial support services – compounds the difficulties children with disabilities in Syria already experience.

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  • Children’s Rights Violations by Governments that Endorsed Online Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic

    The 99-page report, “’How Dare They Peep into My Private Life?’: Children’s Rights Violations by Governments that Endorsed Online Learning during the Covid-19 Pandemic,” is grounded in technical and policy analysis conducted by Human Rights Watch on 165 education technology (EdTech) products endorsed by 49 countries. It includes an examination of 294 companies found to have collected, processed, or received children’s data since March 2021, and calls on governments to adopt modern child data protection laws to protect children online.

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  • Efforts to Ban Gender and Sexuality Education in Brazil

    The 77-page report, “‘I Became Scared, This Was Their Goal’: Efforts to Ban Gender and Sexuality Education in Brazil,” analyzes 217 bills and laws presented between 2014 and 2022 designed to explicitly forbid the teaching or sharing of gender and sexuality education, or ban so-called “gender ideology” or “indoctrination,” in municipal and state schools. Human Rights Watch also documented a political effort to discredit and restrict gender and sexuality education, bolstered by the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro, who has personally amplified this message for political effect, including as recently as March 2022.

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  • Families in Temporary Accommodation in London, UK

    The 51-page report, “I Want Us to Live Like Humans Again”: Families in Temporary Accommodation in London, UK,” examines how families across London are being placed in poor quality and uninhabitable accommodation, significantly violating their rights. The situation is due to a combination of reduced funding for local authorities, austerity-motivated cuts to the welfare system, and a lack of affordable permanent housing.

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  • Armed Separatist Attacks on Students, Teachers, and Schools in Cameroon’s Anglophone Regions

    The 131-page report, “They Are Destroying Our Future: Armed Separatist Attacks on Students, Teachers, and Schools in Cameroon’s Anglophone Regions,” documents scores of education-related attacks by armed separatist groups in the English-speaking North-West and South-West regions between March 2017 and November 2021. The groups have killed, beaten, abducted, threatened, and terrorized students and education professionals; harassed and intimidated families into keeping their children out of school; and burned, destroyed, damaged, and looted school buildings.

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  • The Degrading Treatment of Migrant Children and Adults in Northern France

    The 81-page report, “Enforced Misery: The Degrading Treatment of Migrant Children and Adults in Northern France,” documents repeated mass eviction operations, near-daily police harassment, and restrictions on provision of and access to humanitarian assistance. The authorities carry out these abusive practices with the primary purposes of forcing people to move elsewhere, without resolving their migration status or lack of housing, or of deterring new arrivals.

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  • Neglecting the Rights of LGBT Youth in South Korean Schools

    The 76-page report, “‘I Thought of Myself as Defective’: Neglecting the Rights of LGBT Youth in South Korean Schools,” finds that bullying and harassment, a lack of confidential mental health support, exclusion from school curricula, and gender identity discrimination are particularly pressing concerns for LGBT students. The South Korean government should implement antidiscrimination protections and ensure that LGBT youth have supportive resources to safeguard their health and education

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  • Covid-19, Poverty, and Child Labor in Ghana, Nepal, and Uganda

    The 69-page report, “I Must Work to Eat”: Covid-19, Poverty, and Child labor in Ghana, Nepal, and Uganda,” was co-published with Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER) in Uganda, and Friends of the Nation in Ghana. Researchers examined the rise in child labor and poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the pandemic’s impact on children’s rights. Children described working long, grueling hours for little pay after their parents lost jobs or income due to the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns. Many described hazardous working conditions, and some reported violence, harassment, and pay theft.

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