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States Should Allow Rescue Boats to Land, While Protecting Health

(Milan) – European governments’ actions to close their ports to people rescued at sea puts lives at risk and cannot be justified on public health grounds, Human Rights Watch said today. The imperative to protect the right to health in a pandemic…
Crew work seen on the Alan Kurdi rescue ship, operated by German charity Sea Eye.
News

Health Risks and International Law Require Safer Alternatives

  (Brussels) – People in immigration detention in European countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. “While entire societies learn to live under…
Women in the Ponte Galeria immigration detention center near Rome, Italy May 6, 2017.
News

As Abuse Is Known, Material Assistance Makes Rome Complicit

(Milan) – The Italian government should suspend all support to the Libyan Coast Guard until Libya commits to a clear plan to fully respect migrants’ safety and rights, Human Rights Watch said today. The plan should include closing…
Photo released by the Libyan Coast Guard showing people disembarking in Libya after being intercepted offshore, June 24, 2018.
News

Draconian Migration Measures Put Lives, Rights at Risk

  (Milan) – Italy’s Democratic Party-Five Star Movement coalition government should revoke anti-asylum and anti-rescue measures held over from the previous government, Human Rights Watch said today. The government is expected to propose…
Migrants are crowded together on deck of the rescue ship "Eleonore" as it seaches for a safe port in the Mediterranean.
News

Criminal Penalties Could Deter Saving Lives at Sea

(Milan) –The Italian government should firmly reject a proposal to fine shipmasters up to €5,500 for every person they rescue and take to Italy, Human Rights Watch said today. Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has proposed…
The migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, carrying 47 migrants, comes into dock at the Sicilian port of Catania, southern Italy, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019.
News

Misrata Security Forces Use Force After Rescued People Refuse to Land

(Milan) – Libyan security forces forcibly removed 79 migrants and asylum seekers on November 20, 2018 from the Panama-flagged cargo ship Nivin in the port of Misrata in Libya, after they refused to leave the ship for 10 days, Human…
map of Libya
News

Don’t Criminalize Saving Lives

(Milan) – Italy has impounded a rescue ship and threatened criminal charges against two members of its crew and the coordinator of the organization after they refused to turn migrants over to Libyan forces, fearing that they would be abused. On…
Proactiva’s rescue ship Open Arms on mission in November 2017.
News

Provide Adequate Housing for Homeless Refugees

(Milan) – Police used violence and water cannons to evict a group of squatters, predominantly refugees, in Rome on August 24, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The Italian authorities should conduct a serious and transparent investigation into…
refugees water cannons
News

Leaked Document Would Tie Nongovernmental Groups’ Hands

(Brussels) – Thousands more refugees and migrants could be at risk of dying at sea if a flawed code of conduct for nongovernmental groups conducting search and rescue in the central Mediterranean is put into practice, Amnesty…
Migrants look at south Italy's coast as they approach on the Vos Hestia ship after being rescued by " Save the Children" crew on the Mediterranean sea off the Libya coast, June 20, 2017.
News

At Summit, Embrace Shared Responsibility, Not Outsourcing

(Brussels) – European Union leaders should signal a change in course and affirm strong human rights principles in EU asylum policy and foreign relations, Human Rights Watch said today. Heads of state from the 28 EU countries meeting in…
Families waiting for a bottle of water and a sandwich per person at a camp in Idomeni, Greece, March 2016.
News

Extended Stays, No Separation from Adults

(Milan) – Children as young as 12 and traveling without family members are kept for weeks in overcrowded and unsafe conditions in the Pozzallo migrant registration center in Sicily, Human Rights Watch said today. Some asylum-seeking and other migrant…
A young Egyptian man in the main room at the Pozzallo “hotspot” on June 9, 2016. The center was at double capacity and held 185 unaccompanied children.
News

Lack of Consensus on Mandatory Relocation; Shift Focus to Countries Outside EU

(Brussels) – The response to the refugee crisis agreed by the European Union interior ministers on September 14, 2015, is largely focused on shifting responsibility to countries outside the EU, Human Rights Watch said today. …
2015_ECA_EU_refugees_Hungary
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Government’s New Position Based on Unreliable Evidence

(London, July 2, 2015) – The United Kingdom’s Home Office should issue new guidance to staff screening Eritrean refugee claims that reflects the continued real risk of persecution and other abuses there, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the…
News

Migrants Detail Horrors That Caused Them to Flee

(Brussels) – Human rights abuses in their home countries are the driving force behind the surge in boat migration in the Mediterranean to reach Europe, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. EU leaders should put human rights at the heart of…
Un buque de la Armada irlandesa Le Eithne, participa en una operación de rescate como parte del operativo Frontex Tritón, el 6 de junio de 2015
News

Anti-smuggling Operation Bound by Human Rights Law

(Brussels) - European Union military action against human smuggling networks should not put the lives and rights of migrants and asylum seekers in jeopardy, Human Rights Watch said today. The Council of the European Union agreed on May 18, 2015 to create…
News

Augmented Search and Rescue, but Focus Still on Preventing Departure

(Brussels) – The commitment by European Union heads of state to triple the capacity of Frontex operations in the Mediterranean is an important step towards preventing migrant deaths at sea, Human Rights Watch said today. But the EU, at its extraordinary…
News
Dear European Union Heads of State and Government, Human Rights Watch welcomes your decision to hold an extraordinary Council Summit to address the crisis in the Mediterranean Sea. At least 1,600 migrants and asylum seekers have died attempting…
News
(Milan) - The European Union (EU) should act immediately to prevent further deaths at sea, Human Rights Watch said. As many as 700 migrants and asylum seekers are feared dead in a single shipwreck in the Mediterranean north of Libya on April 19, 2015,…