Search Results

Sort by
News

For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
News

Polish Authorities Should Allow Access to Territory and Asylum Process

While Poland’s government touts its role in the airlift of at-risk Afghans from Kabul, it has trapped 32 Afghans for over 3 weeks at its border with Belarus, preventing them from entering Poland to exercise their right to seek asylum and denying them…
Polish security forces surround migrants at the border with Belarus in Usnarz Gorny, Poland on September 1, 2021. 
News

Dodging Responsibility with Hostile Rhetoric and Harmful Policies

Instead of showing leadership and compassion for people fleeing Taliban rule in Afghanistan, European Union leaders seem bent on a monstrous PR campaign to tell Afghans (and European voters) that those fleeing Afghanistan should not even think about…
Polish soldiers build a fence with concertina wire at the border with Belarus in Krynki, Poland, on August 27, 2021.
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

Investigate, Protect Rights Defenders, End Hateful Rhetoric

Update: Poland’s Ministry of the Interior responded to Human Rights Watch’s request for information and comment on our findings in a four-page letter dated April 8, 2021. The letter states that the government adheres to international law guaranteeing…
Protesters hold a banner of Strajk Kobiet (Women's Strike) during a protest in Warsaw on March 8,  International Women's Day, organized by the Women's Strike (Strajk Kobiet) against the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and the decision of the Constitutional Court.
News

As domestic violence rates soar in Europe under COVID-19 restrictions, women’s groups protest government inaction from Poland to Turkey.

As violence against women repeatedly grabs headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, women across Europe are at the forefront of mass protests demanding government action to protect women from abuse. Some argue that women shouldn’t risk their lives…
Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
News

Reports of Ill-Treatment Show Need for Transparency, Monitoring

(Paris) – Uzbek authorities should immediately and unconditionally release an Afghan citizen whose 13-year imprisonment and alleged torture in custody have only recently become known, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, International…
A guard in a solitary confinement block at an unidentified prison in Uzbekistan. Prisoners in solitary confinement in Uzbekistan’s prisons experience cramped cells without bedding—some in total darkness, others with permanent bright lights
News
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.
News

Groundbreaking 2009 Law Hasn’t Brought Justice for Victims

It seemed like a breakthrough. In 2009, when then-President Hamid Karzai signed Afghanistan’s Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW Law), women’s rights activists celebrated a hard-won victory. They looked to a future…
Members of civil society organizations chant slogans during a protest to condemn the killing of 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul in broad daylight on Thursday, in Kabul March 24, 2
News

Poland blocks asylum seekers at border in defiance of European Court rulings

(London) The European Commission should take enforcement action to address Poland’s summary returns of asylum seekers to Belarus, three leading rights groups have said today. Amnesty International, Helsinki Foundation for Human…
Asylum seekers in the arrivals hall at Brest train station, returned on the 13.46 pm train from Terespol, where their requests to seek asylum Poland were rejected. Brest, Belarus, December 7, 2016.
News

Ensure Procedure Access; Halt Summary Returns

(Budapest) – Polish authorities routinely deny asylum seekers at the Belarus-Poland border the right to apply for asylum and instead summarily return them to Belarus, Human Rights Watch said today. Since 2016, large numbers of asylum seekers, mostly from…
Asylum seekers in the arrivals hall at Brest train station, returned on the 13.46 pm train from Terespol, where their requests to seek asylum Poland were rejected. Brest, Belarus, December 7, 2016.
News
Pressure is building on Afghan and Somali refugees to go home, even if they no longer have homes to return to. It is not surprising that this pressure is coming from governments that have been hosting huge numbers of refugees and want…
Member of Greek Red Cross helps an Afghan refugee who has just arrived from Turkey with an inflatable boat in the area of airport of Mytilene, Lesvos Island, Greece.
News

At Risk of Imprisonment, Violence if Deported to Afghanistan

To be openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender in Afghanistan is to risk abuse, even death. Despite this, lawyers working with Afghan refugees in the United Kingdom have told Human Rights Watch that they find themselves pushing back against…
Protesters hold up placards during a demonstration to express solidarity with migrants and to demand the government welcome refugees into Britain, in London, September 12, 2015.
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

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
News

As Pakistan Coerces Refugees to Return, Woman from Iconic Photo Arrested

They say one never forgets a face. One face hundreds of millions of people will never forget is that of 12-year-old Sharbat Gula. Captured by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry in a refugee camp in 1984, her piercing green eyes captivated the…
Visitors look at the "Afghan Girl" photo during U.S. photographer Steve McCurry's exhibition at the Asian Civilisation Museum in Singapore June 26, 2009.