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Pilot Programs Point Way to Rights-Respecting Models

(New York) – Pilot programs testing alternatives to immigration detention in several countries, including the United States, offer governments models for more humane and rights-respecting approaches, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today…
Illustration of a man hugging his family outside of a detention center
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Activists at Risk of Persecution, Torture if Returned Home

(Berlin) – The Turkish government should halt any plans to deport two detained Turkmen activists to Turkmenistan, where they will be at grave risk of arbitrary arrest and torture, Human Rights Watch said today. Turkish authorities…
A man walks near Fatih mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
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Authorities Deny Afghans Right to Seek Asylum

(New York) – Turkish authorities are summarily pushing Afghan asylum seekers crossing into the country from Iran back to Iran, in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch said today. Six Afghans, five of whom were pushed back, told Human…
A Turkish soldier stands at the Turkish border with Iran
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Authorities Detain, Coerce Syrians to Sign “Voluntary Return” Forms

(Beirut) – Turkish authorities are detaining and coercing Syrians into signing forms saying they want to return to Syria and then forcibly returning them there, Human Rights Watch said today. On July 24, 2019, Interior Minister Süleyman…
A wall along the border between Turkey and Syria is seen in Kilis province, Turkey.
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(Tunis) – Morocco should take steps to ensure compliance with its new domestic workers law, which took effect on October 2, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should ensure that there are robust labor inspections, provide…
A domestic worker in Casablanca, Morocco, in 2017. © 2017 AIC Press
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New Arrivals Deported, Coerced Back to Syria

(Istanbul) – Turkish authorities in Istanbul and nine provinces on or near the Syrian border have stopped registering all but a handful of recently arrived Syrian asylum seekers. The suspension is leading to unlawful deportations, coerced returns…
Two Syrians walk along a fence near the Turkish-Syrian border in Gaziantep province, Turkey on November 30, 2016.
News

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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EU Should Raise Issue, Pledge Aid at Conference

(Brussels) – Turkish security forces have routinely intercepted hundreds, and at times thousands, of asylum seekers at the Turkey-Syria border since at least December 2017 and summarily deported them to the war-ravaged Idlib governorate in Syria,…
A Turkish soldier surveys the border line between Turkey and Syria near the city of Kilis, March 2, 2017.
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Ill-Treatment, Unfair Trial for Those Sought by Turkey Over Alleged Gulenist Links

(New York) – Burmese authorities have forced back Turkish asylum seeker, Muhammet Furkan Sökmen via Thailand, putting him at risk of serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 24, 2017, Burmese officials…
Burma/Thailand: Deported Turkish Man at Risk PHOTO
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Ensure Asylum Access, Humane Conditions

(Tunis) – Algerian and Moroccan border authorities appear to be blocking two groups of Syrian asylum seekers from leaving the border area near the Moroccan city of Figuig, Human Rights Watch said today. The Syrians, including women and…
People stand near a border post on the Algerian side of the Morocco-Algeria border in the north east of Morocco July 31, 2011. © 2011 Youssef Boudlal /Reuters
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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.
News

Scores of Unaccompanied Children, Adults Stranded as Relocation Ended

(Calais) – Local authorities acted prematurely on October 26, 2016, in ending registration and relocation of children and adults from the Calais migrant camp, Human Rights Watch said today. The Pas-de-Calais prefect, Fabienne Buccio, declared, “…
A group of boys from the Calais migrant camp tries to stay warm where they are sleeping overnight in the hope that registration of unaccompanied children and adults would resume in the morning, October 26, 2016.
News

Secure Housing, Care, Guardianship, Family Reunification

France and the United Kingdom should ensure that all unaccompanied children in informal migrant camps in Calais receive adequate accommodation and care before the camps are demolished, Human Rights Watch said today. French authorities…
2016-10-crd-france-calais-flag
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(New York) – Human Rights Watch has created a dedicated webpage on access to education for Syrian refugee children, whose school year begins this month, in advance of the New York summits on the global refugee and migration crisis. In…
Maya, 9, reads a school textbook in her family home. She enjoys attending her local public school in izmir, on turkey’s west coast, where she is one of four Syrian students in her class.
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At Global Refugee Summits, Commit to Resettlement and Aid

(New York) – The massive refugee crisis demands an unprecedented global response. At two summits on September 19 and 20, 2016, at the United Nations, world leaders should take bold steps to share responsibility for millions of people…
2015-eca-eu-refugees-reception-13
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Key Protections, but Significant Gaps Remain

(Tunis) – Morocco’s new law regulating work for domestic workers could help protect thousands of women and girls from exploitation and abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. The new law was adopted by the House of Representatives on July 26, 2016, and will…
MENA Morocco Domestic worker
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Summit Should Tackle Responsibility for Refugees

(Istanbul) – United Nations member states and UN agencies attending the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on May 23-24, 2016, should press the Turkish authorities to reopen Turkey’s border to Syrian asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A border guard manning Turkey’s closed border with Syria patrols near the Turkish village of Guvecci, February 7, 2016.
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Gary Noling holding a photo of his daughter Carri Goodwin, a rape victim who died of acute alcohol intoxication less than a week after receiving an Other Than Honorable discharge from the Marines.
News

No Escape for Thousands Fleeing Attacks on Border Camps

(Istanbul) – Syrian military attacks on armed opposition groups near the Turkish border hit two displaced persons camps on April 13 and 15, 2016, causing at least 3,000 people to flee, although they were unable to cross the border to safety, Human Rights…
Khirmash displaced persons camp in Syria on Turkey’s border, sheltering about 2,000 people as of mid-April 2016.
News

At least 30,000 Trapped Amid Northern Syria Fighting

(Istanbul) – Turkey should stop shooting at Syrian civilians fleeing fighting and immediately allow them to cross the Turkish border to seek protection, Human Rights Watch said today. Renewed fighting between the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and…
Internally displaced Syrians outside Azaz town, fleeing ISIS advances north of Aleppo near the closed Turkish border.