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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
How has the situation on Lesbos changed since your last visit? When I was here in 2016, I couldn’t imagine things being worse. We saw a lawless situation in Moria refugee camp. There were around 6,000 people in the camp,…
Migrants who arrived yesterday to Greece from Turkey eat bread as they try to warm themselves at the village of Skala Sikaminias, on the Greek island of Lesbos on Friday, March 6, 2020.
News

Long Past Time to Put an End to Brutal Treatment of Migrants, Asylum Seekers

Ten years ago, I documented a systematic pattern of brutal Greek border police pushbacks of migrants and asylum seekers at the Evros River border that divides Greece and Turkey. Last week, as I edited a new Human Rights Watch report, I…
Migrants that crossed the land border between Greece and Turkey are seen at the Pre-Removal Detention Center in the village of Fylakio, Northern Greece, February 24, 2017.
News

End Summary Returns, Unchecked Violence

(Athens) – Greek law enforcement officers at the land border with Turkey in the northeastern Evros region routinely summarily return asylum seekers and migrants, Human Rights Watch said today. The officers in some cases use violence and often…
Migrants that crossed the land border between Greece and Turkey are seen at the Pre-Removal Detention Center in the village of Fylakio, Northern Greece, February 24, 2017.
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(Athens, December 18, 2018) – Greek law enforcement officers at the land border with Turkey in the northeastern Evros region routinely summarily return asylum seekers and migrants, Human Rights Watch said today. The officers in some cases use violence and…
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
News

Calls for Safe Zones Raise Concerns

(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch today released a question-and-answer document on “safe zones” and the armed conflict in Syria. A number of leaders and governments have suggested that creating safe zones in Syria near the Turkish or other borders could…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
News
Recent statements by leaders and governments in the United States, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan indicate an interest in creating so-called safe zones in Syria. While no detailed plans for creating and managing such…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
News

EU-Turkey Deal Traps People in Abuse and Denies Them Refuge

(Athens) – The EU-Turkey deal has trapped thousands of people in abysmal conditions on the Greek islands for the past year, while denying most access to asylum procedures and refugee protection, Human Rights Watch said today. This assessment of conditions…
Asylum seekers from Algeria at a refugee squat on Lesbos. People of certain nationalities presumptively considered “economic migrants,” such as Algerians, are treated as having manifestly unfounded claims, and are often detained on that basis.
News
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
News
  Q&A: Why the EU-Turkey Migration Deal is No Blueprint On March 18, 2016, the European Union signed an agreement with Turkey to stem migration and refugee flows to Greece. In 2015, over 850,000 people reached Greek islands by boat…
News

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

At Global Refugee Summits, Commit to Resettlement and Aid

(New York) – The massive refugee crisis demands an unprecedented global response. At two summits on September 19 and 20, 2016, at the United Nations, world leaders should take bold steps to share responsibility for millions of people…
2015-eca-eu-refugees-reception-13
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.
News

Lack of Jobs, School, Health Care Spurs Poverty, Exploitation

(Brussels) – Delays in registration and limited implementation of temporary protection policies in Turkey mean that many Syrian refugees are left without effective protection or access to jobs and services that they desperately need, Human Rights Watch…
A migrant child stands in a tent on the side of a highway near Edirne, Turkey where hundreds of mostly Syrian migrants have had to wait as Turkish police prevent their bid to cross the border with Greece.
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Turkish border guards are shooting and beating Syrian asylum seekers and the smugglers helping them cross to Turkey, resulting in deaths and serious injuries. The Turkish authorities should end their pushbacks of Syrian asylum seekers at the border and…