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Following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he wanted “to make the Mediterranean a chance and not a fear.” But does he mean Europeans’ fears of foreigners,…
Migrants are seen onboard the charity ship Lifeline at Boiler Wharf in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta June 27, 2018.
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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.
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Last week, the European People's Party (EPP) had a chance to stand up for its values and those of the European Union. But instead, it ducked the issue. The umbrella group of center-right and Christian democrat parties in European…
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban before a photo at the European Union Tallinn Digital Summit in Tallinn, Estonia, September 29, 2017.
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Refugees are one of the most debated topics in the campaign before Germany’s election on September 24. The political programs of the seven parties most likely to be elected do all reflect this. According to its party platform, the right-…
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Putting Lives at Risk in Kabul

This week, the German government deported to Kabul another 26 rejected Afghan asylum seekers – the second such wave of deportations in as many months. They come home to a city that is both divided and insecure. There is the Kabul of the embassies:…
Protesters hold a placard reading "Afghanistan is not secure" during a demonstration against the deportation of Afghan asylum seekers from Germany back to Afghanistan, at Frankfurt Airport, Germany, December 14, 2016.Afghans, whose asylum applications hav
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Refugees Assist Investigations in France, Germany and Sweden

As Bashar al-Assad’s forces ramped up their bombing campaign on rebel-held territory over the past year, his government may not have realized that they were cracking its shield against accountability for crimes committed in the Syrian conflict since 2011…
Shelters burning in Iqdah displaced persons camp near the closed Turkish border north of Aleppo after ISIS took over the camp on April 14.
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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…
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They survived treacherous boat journeys between Turkey and Greece, barbed wire in Hungary, and cascading border closures across the Balkans – a journey, mainly on foot, that took months. Now, safe in Germany, with the most dangerous part of their trek…
Hassan fled Damascus and after arriving in Berlin began volunteering at a refugee center, handing out clothes, food and baby carriages.
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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
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Germany’s generous and humane response to Europe’s refugee crisis is under threat. While most EU governments have sought to shirk their responsibilities, Berlin has done the right thing, welcoming people from refugee-producing countries…
Cologne Central Station
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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…
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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
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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. …
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The state of emergency President Nicolás Maduro declared days ago for the Venezuelan border area should have raised red flags internationally. But it didn’t, and credible allegations of human rights violations are on the rise. The emergency…
Venezuela deportations
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The list of attacks against centers for asylum seekers in Germany is alarming. During the first six months of this year alone, the German Interior Ministry registered 173 such offences, the majority of which were arson attacks. And the list is getting…
 Caption: Right wing protesters who are against bringing asylum seekers to an accommodation facility run down a street in Heidenau, Germany August 22, 2015
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In the United States, the front-running Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, accuses the Mexican government of “forcing their most unwanted people into the United States … criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” In the United…
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Politicians are not well known for going out of their way to change their attitudes. Yet the  plight of refugees is spurring them to do just that. Politicians need to convince voters that refugees are not a burden, but people in need of protection, with…
On Kos, children and adults alike sleep in tents provided by Doctors without Borders, while waiting for processing, which can take three weeks or more.
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The EU is responsible for correcting the irrational, irresponsible debate about migration to Europe. So far, it’s failed.

Imagine the Hollywood blockbuster about one boat’s perilous journey in the Mediterranean. The Eritrean mother with her five-year-old son, the 16-year-old Afghan boy traveling on his own, and the Syrian patriarch with his entire family — they would be the…
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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…
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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…