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Surface Reforms by US Fail to Address Serious Abuses of Asylum Seekers

(Washington, DC) – The decision to revive the “Remain in Mexico” program at the US border will once again put asylum seekers at risk of kidnapping, extortion, rape, and other abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. It will also violate their right to…
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Abandon Deterrence Model for Immigrants, Asylum Seekers, Groups Urge

(Washington, DC) – Extreme heat in the United States in the summer of 2021 underscores the urgency of adopting a climate-informed approach to policies affecting border communities, migrants, and asylum seekers, a group of 68 rights organizations said…
Alyssa Quintanilla, part of the Tucson Samaritans volunteer group, carries a cross, May 18, 2021, to be installed near Three Points, Arizona. The cross will be installed in the desert to commemorate the death of a migrant there. 
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Migrants Expelled From US, Mexico Without Due Process

(Washington, DC) – Mexico has been carrying out mass expulsion of migrants and asylum seekers of various nationalities to a remote area of the jungle in Guatemala, putting lives at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. Those expelled include…
Buses sit on the Mexican side of the El Ceibo border crossing after having expelled migrants into Guatemala.
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Biden Administration Should Maintain Course to End ‘Remain in Mexico’ Program

(Washington, DC) – The Biden administration should take necessary legal measures to end an abusive Trump-era border policy following the August 24, 2021, US Supreme Court ruling upholding the program, Human Rights Watch said today. The court affirmed…
Woman stands in profile with in a doorframe, her face is obscured
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Two Years into Program, Thousands Face Violence, Trauma, Uncertainty

(Washington, DC) – The United States government’s “Remain in Mexico” program subjects children and adults to serious, ongoing harm, including abduction and rape, and should be quickly and decisively dismantled, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
A Honduran migrant mother and child wait in line for a dinner provided by volunteers at a makeshift encampment occupied by asylum seekers sent back to Mexico from the US in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, October 27, 2019.  
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Parliamentary Committee Should Endorse Key Amendments

(Milan) – The Italian parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee should endorse certain key amendments to draft immigration legislation, Human Rights Watch said today. The amendments would abolish sanctions on rescue ships, reject the concept of “…
Men aboard the Sea-Watch 4, a nongovernmental rescue ship, rejoice on September 1, 2020, as they learn that they have permission to disembark in Palermo, Sicily, the next day.
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States Should Allow Rescue Boats to Land, While Protecting Health

(Milan) – European governments’ actions to close their ports to people rescued at sea puts lives at risk and cannot be justified on public health grounds, Human Rights Watch said today. The imperative to protect the right to health in a pandemic…
Crew work seen on the Alan Kurdi rescue ship, operated by German charity Sea Eye.
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Rejections at Border Increase Health Concerns

(Washington, DC) – The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, known as “Remain in Mexico,” is driving asylum seekers to stay in unhygienic camps and shelters in Mexican border cities where they are at heightened risk of contracting the COVID-…
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Health Risks and International Law Require Safer Alternatives

  (Brussels) – People in immigration detention in European countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. “While entire societies learn to live under…
Women in the Ponte Galeria immigration detention center near Rome, Italy May 6, 2017.
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As Abuse Is Known, Material Assistance Makes Rome Complicit

(Milan) – The Italian government should suspend all support to the Libyan Coast Guard until Libya commits to a clear plan to fully respect migrants’ safety and rights, Human Rights Watch said today. The plan should include closing…
Photo released by the Libyan Coast Guard showing people disembarking in Libya after being intercepted offshore, June 24, 2018.
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Draconian Migration Measures Put Lives, Rights at Risk

  (Milan) – Italy’s Democratic Party-Five Star Movement coalition government should revoke anti-asylum and anti-rescue measures held over from the previous government, Human Rights Watch said today. The government is expected to propose…
Migrants are crowded together on deck of the rescue ship "Eleonore" as it seaches for a safe port in the Mediterranean.
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On January 25, 2019, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program. The policy allows US border officers to return non-…
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New Q&A on Trump Administration’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Program

(Washington, DC) – The United States government’s year-old program requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their cases to be heard puts families at serious risk of harm and undermines due process protections, Human Rights Watch said today…
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Identify Asylum Seekers Facing Obstacles; Ensure Needed Services

(Ciudad Juárez) – Asylum seekers with disabilities waiting in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico for their United States asylum applications to be processed face obstacles to getting basic services, Human Rights Watch said today. Mexico’s government…
Asylum seekers rest at a migrant shelter run by the federal government in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
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Legislation Would Effectively End Asylum at Southern Border

(Washington, DC) – The United States Senate Judiciary Committee on August 1, 2019, forwarded a bill to the full Senate that would all but shut US doors to Central American refugees, Human Rights Watch said today. The Secure and Protect…
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Little Safety, Shelter, Due Process While Awaiting Immigration Hearings

(El Paso, TX) – The United States government should cease returning asylum seekers to wait in Mexico during their US immigration court proceedings, Human Rights Watch and the Hope Border Institute said in a report released…
Immigrants attempt to enter the US between Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and El Paso
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Rome Should Not Prosecute NGO Ship Captain

Update: (June 27, 2019) – As of 5:30pm local time, Italian authorities were still blocking the Sea Watch 3 from docking at the Lampedusa port, over 24 hours after they entered Italian waters. A tweet from the organization at 5:37pm…
Italian Finance Police board the rescue ship Sea-Watch 3 after it disembarked 47 migrants at the Sicilian port of Catania, southern Italy, January 31, 2019.
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Criminal Penalties Could Deter Saving Lives at Sea

(Milan) –The Italian government should firmly reject a proposal to fine shipmasters up to €5,500 for every person they rescue and take to Italy, Human Rights Watch said today. Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has proposed…
The migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, carrying 47 migrants, comes into dock at the Sicilian port of Catania, southern Italy, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019.
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Policy Change Unnecessary, Potentially Dangerous

(Washington, DC) – The US Department of Homeland Security has announced a policy, effective immediately, that will return asylum seekers to Mexico while their claims are processed in the United States. This raises serious concerns about…
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Misrata Security Forces Use Force After Rescued People Refuse to Land

(Milan) – Libyan security forces forcibly removed 79 migrants and asylum seekers on November 20, 2018 from the Panama-flagged cargo ship Nivin in the port of Misrata in Libya, after they refused to leave the ship for 10 days, Human…
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