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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.
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Declining Numbers Leave Most Vulnerable at Risk

Two countries that historically have led the world in refugee resettlement, the United States and Australia, have dramatically lowered their annual admissions ceilings at a time when the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has…
Abdisellam Hassen Ahmed, a Somali refugee who had been stuck in limbo after President Donald Trump temporarily banned refugee entries, walks with his wife Nimo Hashi, and his 2-year-old daughter, Taslim, who he met for the first time after arriving at Salt Lake City International Airport, February 10, 2017.
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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.
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Release People to Mitigate Threat of COVID-19 Spread

In Australia, as people grumble about closed beaches and extended isolation at home due to the coronavirus, spare a thought for those in immigration detention. In recent weeks, I’ve received anxious messages from a 32-year-…
Refugees protest detention conditions in a Melbourne hotel, Australia, April, 2020.
News

Refugees, Health Care, and Criminal Justice Top Agenda

(Sydney) – Australia’s sweeping national security laws and police actions against journalists and whistleblowers are having a chilling effect on freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020. Refugee…
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(Sydney) –Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been arbitrarily detaining rejected asylum seekers virtually incommunicado in the Bomana Immigration Centre, raising serious concerns about their health and safety, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch…
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News
In its latest effort to keep asylum seekers from reaching the United States, the Trump administration enacted a new rule on July 16 that effectively bars anyone from seeking asylum in the United States who tries to cross the southern U.…
Demonstrators protest against the detention of asylum seekers at Australian-run offshore detention centers on the island of Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, in Sydney, Australia, August 31, 2017.
News

Re: Protecting Human Rights in Australia’s Foreign Policy

Dear Minister Payne, Congratulations on your reappointment as foreign minister. Human Rights Watch looks forward to working with you to make protection of human rights a strong pillar of Australia’s foreign policy. We attach a…
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News

Long History of Politicians Stoking Fears Over Refugees

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, known in Australia as Harmony Day. It’s especially relevant given last Friday’s attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, where an Australian right-wing extremist…
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News

Global Football, Rights Groups Help Stop Unlawful Deportation

(New York) – Thailand has freed a Bahraini refugee football player threatened with extradition since November 2018 following global pressure from athletes, sports federations, and rights groups, Human Rights Watch said today. …
#FreeHakeem
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New Campaign Calls for Release of Hakeem al-Araibi

(New York) – Thailand’s government should immediately release the refugee football player Hakeem al-Araibi and let him return to his wife and team in Australia, Human Rights Watch said today in announcing a campaign for his…
#FreeHakeem
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Proposed Law Would Expedite Medical Transfers

Australian members of parliament (MPs) have the chance before year’s end to address one of most egregious impacts of Australia’s harsh border policies by backing a bill to give refugees emergency medical care. On December 3,…
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Outspoken Football Player at Risk of Imprisonment, Torture

(New York ) – Thailand’s government should ensure that Hakeem Ali Mohamed Ali al-Araibi, a recognized refugee, is not returned to Bahrain, Human Rights Watch said today. If returned, he would face an imminent risk of wrongful detention and ill-treatment…
Hakeem Ali Mohamed Ali al-Araibi in detention at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.
News
Although mounting political pressure has compelled the Australian government to remove most children from Nauru, refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia continue to face significant risks to their physical and mental health.   …
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Detained Iranian Asylum Seeker Died From Lack of Medical Care

Hamid Khazaei was a fit and healthy young man when he arrived on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island in September 2013, transferred there by the Australian government under its draconian asylum-seeker policy. Less than a year later, the 24-year-old…
Refugees and asylum seekers protest against Australia’s offshore processing policy at a detention center on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea.
Video
A new video from Human Rights Watch highlights ongoing abuses ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Australian government’s reintroduction of its offshore processing and settlement policy. Under this policy, people seeking asylum who travel by boat are…