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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
News

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.
News

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.
News

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
News

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.
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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
News

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.
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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…
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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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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.
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Meager Pledges as 92 Countries Meet

(Geneva) – Representatives of 92 countries failed to pledge more than a slight increase in resettlement places for Syrian refugees at a high-level UN meeting on March 30, 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations High…
Syrians arrive at a camp for internally displaced persons on the outskirts of Azaz town, 5 kilometers south of Bab al-Salam and Turkey’s closed Öncüpınar border post on February 6, 2016.
News

Would Harm Refugees, Undermine EU’s Principles

(Brussels) – The European Union’s proposed deal with Turkey, announced on March 8, 2016, represents “a disturbing disregard for international law covering the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants,” Human Rights Watch…
2016-3-eca-turkey-refugees
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Outline Deal Reveals Contradictory Positions on Refugee Protection

(Brussels) – The European Union outline deal with Turkey announced on March 8, 2016, contradicts EU principles guaranteeing the right to seek asylum and against collective expulsions. EU and Turkish leaders meeting in Brussels announced…
A Syrian family with children was forced by Macedonian security forces to remain in the no-man's land between Greece and Macedonia for five days without shelter after being caught trying to enter Macedonia irregularly.
News

Deal to Limit Migration Deeply Flawed

(Brussels) – The European Union deal with Turkey is a flawed and potentially dangerous policy response to refugee flows across the Aegean Sea. EU and Turkish leaders will meet in Brussels on March 7, 2016, to discuss implementation of a…
Asylum seekers and migrants descend from a large fishing vessel used to transport them from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos. October 11, 2015.