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Last Wednesday, the Nationality and Borders Bill ­– fittingly dubbed the “Anti-refugee bill”­– passed its third reading in the House of Commons, 298 ayes to 231 noes. The Borders Bill works to dismantle the international refugee…
Border Force officers assist 20 Syrian migrants aboard HMC Hunter after they were stopped as they crossed The Channel in an inflatable dinghy headed in the direction of England.
News

Proposed Borders Bill Would Cause More Suffering, Less Protection

Perhaps the most draconian immigration bill in the United Kingdom’s history is moving swiftly through parliament, currently in its final days of scrutiny in the Commons. The Nationality and Borders Bill seeks to dismantle core tenets of the…
A group of people on the deck of HMC Seeker as they wait to be brought ashore by the UK Border Force in Kent. September 22, 2020.
Report
Summary As the harmful effects of immigration detention become more widely known and the appropriateness of detaining migrants is increasingly questioned, governments are looking at alternatives to detention as more humane and rights-respecting…
News

Proposed Pushbacks Show Disregard for Life and Safety at Sea

The UK government’s reported plan to “turn around” boats of migrants and refugees in the English Channel is irresponsible, dangerous, and unlawful. But talking about “turn-arounds” almost makes these tactics sound gentle. Pushbacks at sea would…
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent, by Border Force officers on September 5, 2021.
News

Costly, Abusive Approach Fails to Address System’s Flaws

The United Kingdom government’s new borders bill is expected to include the option of detaining asylum seekers offshore, according to multiple news reports. The emerging details of the policy shift suggest an approach that would not only likely cause…
A group of people on the deck of HMC Seeker as they wait to be brought ashore by the UK Border Force in Kent. September 22, 2020.
Report
Summary One of the [border] officers said to me : “Canada is a free country for Canadians, not for foreigners.” He seemed very happy to tell me: “You’re going to sleep in jail tonight.” The other officers were laughing about this.… Immigration…
News

NATO Members, Australia Should Expedite Relocation of Local Staff

(Washington, DC) – Countries with troops departing Afghanistan should accelerate programs to resettle former Afghan interpreters and other employees who are increasingly at risk from Taliban forces, Human Rights Watch said today. The planned…
Former Afghan interpreters hold placards during a protest against the U.S. government and NATO in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 30, 2021.
News
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record. In its latest attempt, Saudi…
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record.
News

Some Released, Remainder Face Serious Risks from COVID-19

On April 1, Canadian authorities released several detainees from the Laval Immigration Holding Centre in Quebec. Some had gone on hunger strike to protest the lack of protection from COVID-19 in detention facilities. “We felt abandoned,” one man…
People wait in a temporary detention center in Blackpool, Quebec, August 5, 2017.
News

COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
News
Canadians across the country welcomed the news last week that Vanessa Rodel and her young daughter, Keana, had finally found shelter in Montreal. They are two of “Snowden’s angels,” asylum-seekers whose kindness in sheltering the…
Asylum seekers, from left: Ajith Pushpa Kumara, Vanessa Mae Rodel and her daughter Keana, Nadeeka Dilrukshi Nonis and her son Dinath and daughter Sethmundi Kellapatha, and Supun Thilina Kellapatha, pose outside the building of Hong Kong's immigration depa
News
My mobile phone vibrating next to my head far too early on a Sunday morning was the first indication someone was in trouble. Even in an organization such as Human Rights Watch, that spans time zones across the globe, people don’t usually call at that hour…
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News
It’s been 15 years since Ajith Debagama Kankanalamage, fled Sri Lanka after a decade of torture and sexual abuse by the military.  He thought he was headed to Canada, but he was abandoned by brokers without his passport or money in Hong…
Two mothers hold their children in their arms as they wait outside the immigration department's building in Hong Kong, China.
News

New Strategy Seeks to End Impunity for Atrocity Crimes

The Canadian government is stepping up the call for justice for Myanmar’s embattled ethnic Rohingya population. On Wednesday, the government announced a series of measures to respond to the Rohingya crisis including…
Refugees are seen at the Cox's Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh, near Rakhine state, Myanmar, during a trip by United Nations envoys to the region April 29, 2018. Picture taken on April 29, 2018.
News

Hong Kong Threatens to Deport Families Who Aided US Whistle-Blower

(New York) – The Canadian government should fast-track its consideration of the refugee claims of seven people who sheltered US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden before he left Hong Kong in 2013. The Hong Kong…
News
Before it was demolished at the end of October, the sprawling migrant camp in Calais had become a symbol of Europe’s shame, a visible reminder of the European Union’s failure to find a humane, fair, and coordinated approach to migration. But…
Former camp residents wave as they depart in buses for migrant centers elsewhere in France. 24 October 2016.
News
Working up to 18 hours per day for weeks without breaks or a day off. Being paid little, or not at all. Locked in their employers’ home, fed food scraps, their passports confiscated. These abuses can amount to modern slavery as defined by the United…