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Returns to Abusive Migrant Detention Centers Put Lives at Risk

Three young people are facing terrorism charges in Malta for refusing to be returned to almost certain detention and abuse in Libya. The “El Hiblu 3,” as they are known, appeared in a preliminary court hearing in Valetta on July 30; their trial is yet…
Migrants on a Libyan Coast Guard boat in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, January 15, 2018.
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Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
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New ‘Ageing Equal’ Campaign Calls Out Ageism Worldwide

Today, as the world marks the international day of older persons, Human Rights Watch is joining with older people and other groups to support the launch of the Ageing Equal campaign to raise global awareness of the human rights of older…
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Italy and Malta’s Move Puts Lives in Danger

After a nerve-wracking stand-off and intense negotiations, 629 people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea by the Aquarius, a rescue ship run by two nongovernmental groups, SOS MEDITERRANEE and MSF, are finally heading towards Spain. Spain’…
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Plan Would Link EU Funds to Rule of Law, Functioning Judiciary

It’s not every day the European Commission proposes something truly ground-breaking. But yesterday, when the EU announced a new plan to link EU funds given to member states to the health of their judiciary, it did just that.…
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 28, 2015.
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Other Council of Europe Countries Should Back LGBT Rights

As of March 1, Finland will allow same-sex couples to marry, bringing to thirteen the number of European countries with marriage equality laws.Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement on February 21, affirmed…
LGBT Rainbow Flag
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UN Experts Should Address Issue During Review of Estonia’s Rights Record

This week, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child will review Estonia’s child rights record. It is crucial that this include child statelessness. As of January 2016, about 6.1 percent of Estonia’s population…
Estonia's President Toomas Hendrik addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S. September 21, 2016.
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Seeking justice for the ongoing grave human rights abuses in Syria has proven largely elusive. Now the shield of impunity is beginning to crack. Several countries, including Sweden, Germany, and France are in the process of investigating some…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Joanne Cassar got married in a small town in eastern Malta last night, capping a 9-year battle to win that right as a transgender woman in the deeply Catholic country. Today, Joanne and others in the Mediterranean nation had even more to celebrate as the…
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The list of those condemning Malta’s automatic detention of migrants and asylum seekers, including children, keeps growing and growing. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Council of Europe’s Commission against Racism and Intolerance and…
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It's crossing season again in the Mediterranean. With crossing season comes death at sea, as we were reminded yesterday with the gut-wrenching news that 31 people had drowned trying to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa from nearby Libya…