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Government Should End Harmful Offshore Policy

This Sunday marks the seventh anniversary of Australia’s disastrous decision to resume its policy of transferring asylum seekers offshore. Since July 2013, Australia has forcibly transferred more than 3,000 asylum seekers who traveled there by boat to…
Asylum seekers and refugees hold placards during protest against their detention at Kangaroo Point Hotel in Brisbane, Australia, amid the Covid-19 crisis.
News

Regardless of if you look at United States, Europe, or the Pacific, the global asylum system is quickly falling apart.

The broad outlines of President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy veers from build-a-wall isolationism to jingoistic sabre rattling, but in one dimension it has been sadly consistent: the stance that refugees should…
Demonstrators march outside the Trump Building at 40 Wall St. as part of a protest against the US government's refugee ban in New York on March 28, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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Casting about for ways to manage refugee flows, some European policymakers speak of emulating Australia’s use of offshore processing centers in neighboring countries. But Australia’s approach to asylum seekers is fiscally irresponsible, morally bankrupt,…
2016-08-crd-nauru-child protest
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A Well-Earned Rebuke From the UN Children’s Rights Committee

The government of Nauru went to Geneva last month to defend the indefensible: its complicity with Australia’s offshore detention and processing of refugees. Unsurprisingly, its effort was unsuccessful. In a blistering report issued today, the…
Refugee children on Nauru protest Australia’s offshore detention operations, August 2016.
News
Six Danish parliamentarians had planned to travel to the remote Pacific island of Nauru this week for a first-hand view of Australia’s offshore asylum operations. Their visit could have been an important one because access to the island is severely…
Held by Australia on Nauru for three years, a refugee girl chooses freedom as what she most needs, August 2016.
News

Australia’s Offshore Refugee Processing Center Is No Model for Europe

True to form, this week Nauru abruptly canceled the visas of three out of six Danish lawmakers shortly before they were to visit the tiny Pacific island nation and examine Australia’s offshore refugee processing operations there.  …
Refugee children held on Nauru protest Australia’s offshore detention, August 2016.
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Make Good on Commitment to Close Manus Detention Center

(Geneva) – The Papua New Guinea (PNG) government should present its plan and timeline for closing the Manus Island detention center at the upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Papua New Guinea on May 6, 2016, at the United Nations Human Rights…
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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
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President Barack Obama repeated in his state of the union address his longstanding promise “to keep working to shut down Guantanamo.” He should, and Congress should work with him to do that.  Guantanamo Bay has come to symbolize indefinite…
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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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…
calais migrants police
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Abuses, Persecution Cause Many to Flee Abroad

(Sydney) – Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop should raise human rights concerns with senior Iranian officials during her visit to Tehran on April 18, 2015, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the foreign minister. Bishop is the first senior…
News

EU Should Press Sofia to Investigate, Provide Protection

(Brussels) – Bulgarian border police have in the past month forced Syrian asylum seekers back to Turkey and beaten some of them, Human Rights Watch said today based on accounts by victims.   Human Rights Watch documented three separate incidents of…
News

Calls for Europe to Help Fund Mare Nostrum Have Been Largely Ignored

The Italian Navy’s twitter feed contained joyous news last week: a pregnant mother among the 90 people rescued from the sea by a Navy frigate had given birth on board to a little girl, Yambambi. Over that weekend more than 1,600 people were rescued. While…