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The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
News

Grant Access to Asylum Procedures; Hold Abusers Accountable

(New York) –Yemeni government officials have tortured, raped, and executed migrants and asylum seekers from the Horn of Africa in a detention center in the southern port city of Aden, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have…
Buraika detention facility for migrants in Aden governorate, Yemen. © 2018 VICE News Tonight on HBO
News

Europe Should Help End Cycle of Detention, Violence in Libya

A young Eritrean man died on Tuesday in Sicily of tuberculosis compounded by severe malnutrition. His name was Segen.* He was 22. There is so much about Segen we may never know. Did he prefer to read books or play football?…
Segen, a 22-year-old Eritrean, stares into the camera before disembarking in Pozzallo, Sicily, from the Pro Activa Open Arms rescue ship on March 13, 2018. He died several hours later.
News
Imagine that your parents fled their country with you 30 years ago, when you were a baby. The country where you live is the only place you have ever known and your own children were born there. But you wake up one day and…
Five returning Afghan refugee children wait for their parents to register at the UN refugee agency’s support center outside Kabul after being forced out of Pakistan in October 2016. Almost 600,000 Afghans, including 360,000 registered refugees, returned h
News

UN Refugee Agency Complicit in Government Coercion

(Kabul) – Pakistani authorities have carried out a campaign of abuses and threats to drive out nearly 600,000 Afghans since July 2016, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The returnees include 365,000 registered refugees, making it the…
An Afghan refugee family forced out of Pakistan stands by a hired truck laden with their possessions after an overnight journey, October 2016
Report
Summary  “No matter who you are, your heart will turn black with so much abuse.” -Afghan refugee, 25, returning to Afghanistan, November 2016 For most of the past 40 years, Pakistan has hosted well over a million Afghans, among the…
News

Abuses, Harassment Force Afghans Home to Danger

(New York) – Pakistani authorities should cease coercive measures and other abuses that are driving tens of thousands of Afghan refugees from Pakistan. The Pakistani government should extend legal residency status to Afghan refugees…
Afghan refugees are seen at UNHCR’s Voluntary Repatriation Centre in Peshawar, Pakistan, June 23, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood
News
(Nairobi, May 30, 2016) – The Sudanese authorities deported at least 442 Eritreans, including six registered refugees, to Eritrea in May 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. Sudan denied the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) access to…
Eritrean refugees in Sudan’s Shagarab refugee camp
News
Denmark’s recent decision to seize cash and valuables from refugees to help cover the costs of hosting them rightly sparked global outrage. But another underhanded deterrent scheme to limit the number of asylum seekers heading for Denmark has, so far,…
News

Discriminatory Actions Causing Chaos, Crisis

(Brussels) – The chaos and violence unfolding on the Greece-Macedonia border are a direct result of discriminatory border closures and Austria’s unilateral cap on asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today. Thousands of asylum…
2016-2-eca-greece-migrants
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Blocked Access to Asylum; Beatings by Soldiers; Poor Conditions

(Brussels) – Nationality-based restrictions at the border between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are preventing asylum seekers from reaching countries where they want to lodge protection claims. Human Rights…
Two young Iranian sisters at the Idomeni border crossing between Greece and Macedonia. The border crossing is closed to all except those from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan who intend to seek asylum in Germany or Austria, stranding other asylum seekers and
News

Halt Summary Returns, Beatings, Robbery of Asylum Seekers

(Budapest) – Bulgarian law enforcement officials summarily return asylum seekers and migrants to Turkey, often after stealing their belongings and subjecting them to violence. In research in six countries between October and…
2016-1-eca-bulgaria-fence
News

Detained Without Proper Safeguards

(Brussels) - The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has resumed the practice of arbitrarily detaining migrants and asylum seekers. The detentions are ostensibly to secure their testimony as witnesses in criminal proceedings against people suspected of…
window in the male section
News

Beaten, Insulted at Border and in Detention

(Brussels) – The Macedonian police have verbally and physically abused migrants and asylum seekers at the border and in detention, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Macedonia is a key transit country along the Western Balkans…
Gazi Baba
News

Amid an influx of Iraqis and Syrians into Europe, the West is neglecting another group of refugees also in desperate need of help.

TOVARNIK, Croatia — Rajab Ali, a 16-year-old Hazara boy from Afghanistan’s Bamyan province, was silently weeping when we found him standing at the last remaining opening in the 12-foot-high razor-wire border fence Hungary has constructed on its…
Afghan Refugees
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(Brussels) – Human Rights Watch today issued a question-and-answer document that looks at the nationalities of the people risking their lives on boats on the Mediterranean to reach the European Union. It examines whether the majority 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

Questions and Answers

The European Union (EU) is facing unprecedented numbers of refugees and migrants arriving by boat. In 2014, 220,000 people arrived, almost double the combined total of 121,000 from 2011 through 2013. During just the first six…
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

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

Increase Refugee Resettlement, Asylum Seeker Relocation

  Update, June 26, 2015 At the European Council meeting June 25, EU leaders agreed to “in principle” to resettle 20,000 refugees from abroad and relocate 40,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece. Leaders…
EU_Syrian Refugees_2015