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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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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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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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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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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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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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Use September 7 Meeting to Address Arbitrary Detentions, Disappearances, Abductions

(Beirut) – The Astana working group on detentions and abductions in the Syrian conflict should take immediate steps to address the Syrian government’s arbitrary detentions, torture of detainees, and enforced disappearances, 11 human…
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lock hands during a group photo in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. © 2018 Tolga Bozoglu/Pool Photo via AP
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Dire Conditions for Thousands Fleeing Fighting

(Beirut) – Jordanian and Israeli authorities should allow Syrians fleeing fighting in Daraa governorate to claim asylum and protect them, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 16, 2018, the Syrian-Russian military alliance opened an…
An Internally displaced girl from Daraa province carries a stuffed toy and holds the hand of child near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in Quneitra, Syria June 29, 2018. © 2018 Reuters/Alaa Al-Faqir
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Risk of Torture, Ill-Treatment

  UPDATE: On August 4, the European Court of Human Rights issued a preliminary injunction ordering Russia not to deport Khodoberdi Nurmatov to Uzbekistan, until the court can review his case.   (Moscow) – An Uzbek…
Ali Feruz at Basmanny district court in Moscow waiting for his hearing in the evening of August 1, 2017.
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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.
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Calls for Safe Zones Raise Concerns

(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch today released a question-and-answer document on “safe zones” and the armed conflict in Syria. A number of leaders and governments have suggested that creating safe zones in Syria near the Turkish or other borders could…
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.
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I started working to help refugees in 1975 after watching TV images of Vietnamese refugees hanging from the landing skids of helicopters that took off from the roof of the US Embassy in Saigon. As an American, I was acutely aware these refugees…
US Secretary of State Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, and UN Envoy for Syria de Mistura address the media in Vienna.
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Aid, Resettlement, Asylum Procedures Fall Woefully Short

UPDATE: This press release has been updated to reflect the most recent funding figures from both Oxfam International and OCHA for the Russian Federation. (Washington, DC) – Russia’s contribution to meeting the needs of refugees displaced by the…
Syrian refugees line up to receive aid for the winter from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Tripoli, northern Lebanon.
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Major Obstacles for Central American Asylum Seekers

  Mexico City – Central American children fleeing serious threats face formidable obstacles in applying for asylum in Mexico, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 151-page report, “Closed Doors: Mexico’s Failure…
A 12-year-old Salvadoran boy rests as he waits to be deported, at the National Immigration Institute, in Comitan, Chiapas, Mexico on August 19, 2010. ©2010 Jose Cabezas/AFP/Getty Images