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French and British Governments Need New Approach to Irregular Migration

At least 27 people, including a young girl, died in the frigid waters off France this week while trying to cross to the United Kingdom in an inflatable dinghy. The tragedy has intensified a dispute between British and French officials over who bears…
A group of people thought to be migrants crossing the Channel in a small boat headed in the direction of Dover, Kent, United Kingdom, August 10, 2020.
News

Government Should Not Dismiss, But Act on Reports of Inhumane Treatment

Three weeks after French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin dismissed a Human Rights Watch report on police abuse against migrants in northern France as “lies,” national officials are beginning to change their tone. Didier Leschi, head of the French…
A woman and two children stand in front of two police officers
News

Humanitarian Organization Warns Weapons Threaten ‘Our Shared Humanity’

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is calling on governments to ban fully autonomous weapons. ICRC President Peter Maurer said yesterday that he hopes the humanitarian organization’s public backing for new legally…
An ambulance covered in bullet holes
News

Both Sides Should Abide by Laws of War

Update: On May 3, 2021, Tajik authorities reported that 14 houses were fully destroyed, 4 buildings including a secondary school were damaged, and 15,000 people were evacuated from the three districts of Isfara, in Tajikistan’s Sughd region,…
Cars damaged during a firefight on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border are seen near the settlement of Koi-Tash, Batken region, Kyrgyzstan, April 30, 2021.
News

Stop and Punish Abuse, Provide Accommodation

On Monday night, I felt shame and disgust as I watched videos of law enforcement officers from my own country violently removing people from their tents in Paris’ Place de la République, confiscating makeshift shelters and sleeping bags, and violently…
500 tents to shelter migrants were set up on Place de la République in Paris on November 23, 2020, before being violently dismantled by police forces
News

Over a Thousand Still Stranded in Hellish Conditions on Greek Islands

In recent days, France has welcomed 49 children flown in from the nightmarish situation in the camps on Greece’s Aegean islands, where thousands of asylum seekers and migrants are stranded in horrendous conditions. On August 20, France relocated to…
Two boys walk in a makeshift camp next to the Moria camp for refugees and migrants on the island of Lesbos, Greece, September 17, 2018.
News

The Death Should Prompt Policy Change in London and Paris

It is almost five years since the body of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy, washed up on a beach in Turkey. After fleeing the war in Syria with his family, Alan died when the family’s dinghy capsized as they tried to make the dangerous journey…
A group of people thought to be migrants crossing the Channel in a small boat headed in the direction of Dover, Kent, United Kingdom, August 10, 2020.
News

Authorities Should Urgently Protect Them, Give Them Shelter

Since June 30, unaccompanied migrant children have been camping in central Paris, stuck in limbo while a judge decides on their fate. Aid organizations, including Médecins Sans Frontières and Utopia 56, set up a tent camp in a Paris park to shelter…
Unaccompanied migrant children camping at Jules Ferry Park in the 11th district of Paris, July 2020.
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

Migrant Children in France Left in Limbo and at Risk of COVID-19

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ordered France to take steps to protect a child who was sent back to the streets in early March in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic. The victim, or applicant, is a Guinean boy…
Migrants hold a banner reading "SOS isolated minors unprotected and on the street = abuse" as they demonstrate against the living conditions of unaccompanied migrant minors and the lack of accommodation, outside the departmental council building in Marsei
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

The French Ombudsman Confirms Human Rights Watch’s Findings

  As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child tomorrow, the reality for many children around the world falls far short of the guarantees outlined in the treaty. Children fleeing abusive situations in…
Daouda S., a 16-year-old unaccompanied boy from Guinea, has slept on the streets of Paris for weeks at a time while he waits for a judge to hear his case. Occasionally, he is able to stay with families for short stretches. Photograph by Roopa Gogineni.
News

Children Sought Shelter in a Squat When No Shelter Was Provided to Them

In Marseille, France, unaccompanied migrant children whom child protection authorities failed to provide a living place for have been squatting in an unoccupied building owned by the Catholic church. Now, even though it’s the Bouches-du-Rhône…
Bâtiment du diocèse de Marseille occupé par le Collectif 59 Saint-Just, où vivent actuellement 200 personnes, dont des familles et environ 100 enfants migrants non accompagnés, Marseille, France, octobre 2019.
News

Controversial tests to determine age of unaccompanied migrant children should go

France’s highest court recently ruled that controversial bone tests to assess the age of unaccompanied migrant children are flawed, but nevertheless comply with France’s Constitution. The Constitutional Council acknowledged that such…
Unaccompanied teens queue outside the Paris evaluation facility (Dispositif d’evaluation des mineurs isolés étrangers, DEMIE) to seek formal recognition as unaccompanied migrant children, October 3, 2018.
News

Government Had Effectively Held Exiled Activists’ Daughter Hostage

For the second time this month, Tajikistan’s government has allowed a child of exiled dissidents to leave the country and reunite with their family living abroad. The children – Ibrohim Hamza, aged 4, and Fatima Davlyatova,…
 Tajik authorities have placed 10-year-old Fatima Davlyatova, daughter of peaceful political activist, Shabnam Khudoydodova, on a watch list and prevented her from leaving to Europe to reunite with her mother.
News

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

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

Companies Should Put Safeguards in Place to Protect Workers Abroad

Our lives are full of products produced in faraway countries, under conditions we don’t know – think of the vegetables you eat, the clothes you wear, or even the device you are reading this on. Human Rights Watch has documented serious abuses in the…
A 13-year-old boy works in artisanal and small-scale gold mining in Obuasi. He dropped out of school at the age of 12 and would like to continue his education.
News

An Appalling Proposal by the Leader of the Far-Right National Front

On Thursday, Marine Le Pen took her xenophobic and discriminatory discourse a step further – espousing anti-equality and anti-rights positions that reject core values of the French constitutional and political system. According to Le Pen…
Marine Le Pen, French National Front (FN) political party leader, delivers a statement on U.S. election results at the party headquarters in Nanterre, France, November 9, 2016.