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Back in 2008, when I wrote a 121-page report documenting that Greek border authorities were violently pushing back migrants and asylum seekers at its borders with Turkey, I thought such revelations would shock the Greek public and people throughout the…
News
On May 29, Russian state media reported that the authorities are considering introducing an app that migrant workers would have to download when they enter the country, once the borders re-open after the COVID-19 lockdown. Little is known about the…
Shadows of people detained by Russian police, suspected of violating immigration rules during an action seen on containers at a street market in Moscow, Russia, August 7, 2013. © AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
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The Reality for Refugees in the EU-Turkey Stand-Off

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s cynical move to open his western EU borders to allow refugees and migrants to leave - while keeping his southern border to Syria shut to asylum seekers desperate to escape the onslaught there - poses an enormous…
Refugee being taken away by Greek police
News
The Greek islands are under the spotlight again, as a new wave of tragic events has hit asylum seekers trapped there. On 29 September, a big fire broke out in Moria - the notorious camp on the island of Lesbos - killing one woman, and injuring at…
A Syrian man reads inside his tent at a makeshift camp outside Moria on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesbos, Greece.
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As hostilities in Syria wind down, the war is moving to another front – homecoming for refugees, property rights, and reconstruction. While less violent, it will determine the future for millions of Syrians. The Russian…
Satellite image of a large blast cloud from the demolition of a residential apartment building with high explosives. Blast cloud consistent with the detonation of a large conventional bomb
News
Following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he wanted “to make the Mediterranean a chance and not a fear.” But does he mean Europeans’ fears of foreigners,…
Migrants are seen onboard the charity ship Lifeline at Boiler Wharf in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta June 27, 2018.
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"I get depressed here. I want to go to a good school to study," said a bright, 12-year-old girl from Afghanistan, who's been stuck for six months in the grim Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. "If we don't study we won't have a future and…
Children seeking asylum attend an art class at the volunteer-run Refugee Education Chios center on the Greek island of Chios on September 29, 2016.
News

There is little prospect of the majority of asylum seekers trapped on the islands being sent back to Turkey any time soon

“Why do I deserve to be treated that way?” Issa, a 25-year-old Syrian asylum seeker told me in mid-May on the island of Lesbos. “We are here, forgotten. Totally forgotten…. There is no dignity at all here.” Issa is among the scores of…
Asylum seekers from Algeria at a refugee squat on Lesbos. People of certain nationalities presumptively considered “economic migrants,” such as Algerians, are treated as having manifestly unfounded claims, and are often detained on that basis.
News
After almost three months of jumping up and down in place, the newly invested Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has hit the ground running in the worst possible direction. The head of the anti-immigrant party, the League, Salvini has…
Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini arrives at the Republic Day military parade in Rome, Italy, June 2, 2018.
News

Italian judge’s releases rescue ship but upholds legal fiction of Libyan search and rescue zone. Judith Sunderland from Human Rights Watch explains why the contradiction matters.

WE MAY NEED to curb our enthusiasm over an Italian judge’s April 16 decision to release the rescue ship Open Arms, operated by the Spanish group Proactiva, which Italy impounded a month ago. Although the Open Arms may soon sail again and…
A rigid hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) approaches the MV Open Arms, the search and rescue ship of Proactiva Open Arms, in the central Mediterranean off the coast of Libya, December 16, 2017
News
Thousands of asylum seekers are trapped in crowded and filthy processing centers on the Greek islands, with many spending the winter in lightweight tents or even sleeping outside on the ground. Greece contends it has to keep the…
201710eca_greece_hotspots
News
  Italian politics are never boring, and election campaigns are always times of particularly strident debate. But the tenor of the campaign leading up to Italy’s national elections on March 4 on immigration issues is profoundly alarming. In…
Demonstrators stand on a balcony during an anti-racism rally in Macerata, Italy, February 10, 2018. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
News
‘They will kill us all,” “Ahmad,” a Syrian aid worker, told me last month, referring to the many armed parties to the Syrian conflict. We were talking about Idlib, a province in northwest Syria that is home to around 2…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
News

A Window of Opportunity For Few Refugees

  This is the second of a two-part commentary on family reunification by Bethany Brown of Human Rights Watch and photojournalist Anna Pantelia that documents a Syrian family’s final days in Greece before heading to Germany to…
Mohammed finally spends time with his children and wife in their new home in Germany. © 2017 Anna Pantelia
News
  This is the first of a two-part commentary on family reunification by Bethany Brown of Human Rights Watch and photojournalist Anna Pantelia that documents a Syrian family’s final days in Greece before heading to Germany to…
On Boxing Day in the Osanas’ house in Greece, Dominique called Falak’s husband, Mohammed, on Skype and introduced his family. © 2017 Anna Pantelia
News
Recent statements by leaders and governments in the United States, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan indicate an interest in creating so-called safe zones in Syria. While no detailed plans for creating and managing such…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
News

With rising tensions and attacks toward refugees in Greece, what can be done?

The situation on the Greek eastern Aegean islands housing the so-called refugee “hotspots” has taken a dangerous turn, with racially motivated attacks on the rise. The European Union needs to act to head off a full-blown…
2016-5-eca-greece-woman-crying
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