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Macron Should Address Rights Abuses in Gulf Region

This week, French President Emmanuel Macron will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with a large delegation of French ministers and major business executives. In the UAE, he will apparently be finalizing a weapons deal, when…
News

Civil Society Participation Key to Success at UN Climate Talks

At this month’s virtual climate negotiations several United Nations officials and governments highlighted the importance of civil society participation in climate action. Yet at the summit’s plenary session, time ran out before civil society…
Residents and environmental activists on Lamu island, Kenya, protest the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project on March 1, 2012.  © 2012 Reuters/Joseph Okanga
News

France Complicit as Magomed Gadaev at Risk of Torture in Chechnya

Magomed Gadaev, 37, an asylum seeker from Chechnya and key witness in a high-profile torture case against Chechnya’s leadership, was abducted by Chechen security officials on April 11, two days after his deportation from France to Russia. France…
Magomed Gadaev pictured in Paris, France.
News

Government Should Protect Refugees, Not Send People Back to Dangerous Conditions

The Kenyan government has again issued an ultimatum to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide a plan and timeline for closing the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps. Though the government has issued these demands before, its…
Photo: An aerial picture shows a section of the Hagadera camp in Dadaab near the Kenya-Somalia border, May 8, 2015.
News

Government to Pay US$12 Million in Compensation for Smelter Pollution

In a victory for environmental health, last week, a Kenyan Court awarded $1.3 billion Ksh (USD12 million) to residents of Owino Uhuru, a suburb of Mombasa, for damages related to pollution from a nearby lead smelter that recycled lead-acid batteries.…
News

Arms Sales to Rights-Abusing Countries Fuel Atrocities Against Civilians

Last week, the French government published its latest report on arms exports, documenting sales and transfers throughout 2019. After Qatar, the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt received the greatest amounts, accounting for €1.4 billion and €1.0…
French-made Leclerc tanks of the Saudi-led coalition are deployed on the outskirts of the Yemeni port city of Aden during a military operation, August 3, 2015.
News

Other Dangerous Crowd Control Weapons Remain in Use

This week, France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced that French police would stop using the controversial GLI-F4 tear gas grenade. This move is long overdue, but doesn’t address serious concerns about other weapons…
Protester picks up a tear gas grenade during a police charge on December 8, 2019 on the Champs Elysees, Paris.
News

Libya Could Have Used Ships to Commit Abuses Against Migrants and Asylum Seekers

France’s decision last week to withdraw its offer of six boats to the Libyan Coast Guard is good news, as Libya could have used this “gift” to subject even more migrants and refugees to serious abuses in Libya. In February,…
Migrants on a boat that they tried to take to Italy, after being detained at a Libyan Navy base in Tripoli on September 20, 2015.
News

Government Should Invite, Not Repress Climate Change Activism

Last weekend, France recorded an all-time heat record of 45.9 degrees Celsius. With rising temperatures globally, heatwaves are becoming more intense and frequent and their impacts can be devastating. But when a group called Extinction Rebellion…
French CRS riot police forcibly remove French youth and environmental activists as they block a bridge during a demonstration in Paris, France.
News

Activists Opposing these Plans have Faced Threats and Harassment

Environmental activists in Kenya scored a unique victory last week. On June 26, the National Environmental Tribunal revoked a license issued to Amu Power Company to establish a controversial coal-fired power plant in Lamu. …
Environmental activists and petitioners listen to a tribunal ruling over the construction of a coal-fired power plant, at the supreme court building in Nairobi, Kenya
News

French Assistance Could Lead to Gross Rights Violations

People shackled, beaten, burned, crushed, hung upside down, threatened, and detained in horrendous conditions: the images broadcast recently by Channel 4 News apparently showing the torture and inhumane conditions suffered by some…
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New provisions risk undermining asylum seekers’ rights while not solving ongoing issues

In France, asylum seekers are sleeping rough, and flawed procedures often leave unaccompanied migrant children adrift, homeless, and excluded from the care they need. But instead of addressing these challenges or correcting…
Tents are seen at a makeshift migrant camp on a street near the metro stations of Jaures and Stalingrad in Paris, France, October 28, 2016
News

‘Fraternity’ Ruling Offers Wider Lessons for Europe

France’s highest court has just ruled that helping others in need, including undocumented migrants, is protected by the country’s constitution. The decision comes at a time when people and groups trying to help undocumented migrants – in…
Migrants rest after having crossed part of the Alps mountain range from Italy into France, near the town of Nevache in southeastern France, December 21, 2017.
News

New Bill Could Open Door to Wrongful Asylum Rejections

Proposed changes by France’s Senate Law Commission to a controversial and widely criticized asylum and immigration bill could make things worse and open the door to improper and unlawful exclusion of refugees. The commission’s amendments would…
Migrants queue for a free meal distributed by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA) humanitarian agency on a street near Stalingrad metro station in Paris, France, October 28, 2016
News

Authorities Should End Abuse of Migrants, Open Shelters for Winter

Shortly after he became president of France last year, Emmanuel Macron had a hopeful vision for humanely addressing the country’s asylum crisis. “By the end of the year, I do not want to have men and women on the streets, in the woods. I want…
A migrant walks past the slogans which read "refugees welcome" written on a wall near the former "jungle" in Calais, France, August 23, 2017.
News

UN Pollution Meeting Should Embrace Child Rights in its Resolutions

Bhopal, Chernobyl, and Minamata – these environmental disasters shocked the world. Yet, pollution results not only from catastrophic accidents but also from years of silent exposure. Children’s developing bodies are particularly…
“My name is Amina and I am twenty years old. I grew up here in the town of Bagega. I had six children. Three have died. Each time one died, I was so distraught and I was very traumatized.” Amina, Bagega, Zamfara state, Nigeria, 2011.
News

Pact Would Enshrine Key Rights Protections

Today, in front of the United Nations General Assembly, French President Emmanuel Macron is set to launch the Global Pact for the Environment. Its primary aim is to bolster international efforts to protect the environment from climate…
French President Emmanuel Macron waits for a guest outside the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, September 15, 2017.
News

Kenya’s High Court Overturns Government Bid to Send Somali Refugees Back Home

Early this morning, Somali friends in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp that’s home to more than 300,000 people, were celebrating the selection of Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” as the new president of Somalia. Residents in Dadaab have been waiting…
An aerial view shows makeshift shelters at the Dagahaley camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border in Garissa County, Kenya. Photo taken April 2011.
News
Just as temperatures are dropping below freezing in France, police violence against migrants in Paris has intensified. Migrants are being forced to give up their blankets and quilts, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and the local association P’tis déj à…
French riot police officer stands guard next to tents of a dismantled makeshift camp in a street near Stalingrad metro station, Paris, France, November 4, 2016.
News

Limiting Extension to Six Months Prolongs Confusion, Suffering

This year, widespread attention has focussed on Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, which the Kenyan government threatened to close by late November. But on Wednesday, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for interior announced that the closure will be delayed…
Photo: Refugees stand outside their tent at the Ifo Extension refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border in Garissa County, Kenya, October 19, 2011.