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Crowded Camp Conditions, Lack of Permanent Shelters

Heavy rains over the past week have displaced more than 21,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The resulting flooding and mudslides have destroyed about 6,418 shelters. With months of monsoon season still ahead, the refugees face heightened risks…
Rohingya refugees repair a shelter damaged following heavy rains at the refugee camp in Kutupalong, Bangladesh on July 28, 2021.
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Bangladesh Provided Myanmar Information that Refugee Agency Collected

The United Nations refugee agency improperly collected and shared personal information from ethnic Rohingya refugees with Bangladesh, which shared it with Myanmar to verify people for possible repatriation, Human Rights Watch said today. The agency…
Rohingya refugees headed to the Bhasan Char island prepare to board navy vessels from the south eastern port city of Chattogram, Bangladesh on Feb.15,2021. © 2021 AP Photo
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Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with…
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But the International Community Should Do Much More to Ensure that the Refugees Can Safely Return to Myanmar

In late May, thousands of Rohingya refugees whom Bangladesh authorities had relocated to remote Bhasan Char island broke out of their shelters during a visit by United Nations representatives. “We don’t want to live here,” they chanted.…
A man climbs through barbed wire fencing at a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, as a massive fire swept through the camps on March 22, 2021.
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UN, Donors Should Urge Protection, Freedom of Movement on Bhasan Char

(New York) – The Bangladesh government has relocated nearly 20,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote island without adequate health care, livelihoods, or protection, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The United Nations and donor…
An elderly man carries luggage over his head as he walks he off a ship
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Summary Since December 2020, the Bangladesh government has moved nearly 20,000 Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char, a remote silt island in the Bay of Bengal. With the approaching monsoon season, refugees and humanitarian workers alike fear that…
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(New York) – The Bangladesh government has relocated nearly 20,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote island without adequate health care, livelihoods, or protection, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The United Nations and donor governments…
News

Donors Should Urge Government to Respect Right to Education

Update: On May 6, 2021, the education minister announced he had requested the government to allow refugee children without residency documents to take their school examinations this year. (Beirut) – Lebanon’s Education Ministry is blocking Syrian…
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Investigate Security Force Beatings for Attempting to Flee Bhasan Char Island

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities should immediately investigate allegations that security forces beat and arbitrarily detained Rohingya refugees who tried to leave Bhasan Char island, Human Rights Watch said today. The Bangladesh government has…
Rohingya refugees headed to the Bhasan Char island prepare to board navy vessels from the south eastern port city of Chattogram, Bangladesh on Feb.15,2021. © 2021 AP Photo
News

Ensure Greater Information Access

(Beirut) – The Lebanese government’s Covid-19 vaccination program risks leaving behind marginalized communities, including refugees and migrant workers, Human Rights Watch said today. Despite the government’s promises of an equitable program, the…
A nurse prepares a Covid-19 vaccine syringe at the Saint George Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon on February 16, 2021. © 2021 AP Photo/Hussein Malla
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Security Measures Should Be Proportionate, Not Cause Harm

(New York) – Barbed wire fencing trapped thousands of refugees while a massive fire spread through Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh on March 22, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. The Bangladesh government should immediately remove the fencing…
A man climbs through barbed wire fencing at a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, as a massive fire swept through the camps on March 22, 2021.
News

Two Winters Since Homes Dismantled, Many Refugees in Arsal Unprotected

(Beirut) – Syrian refugees in Arsal, a Lebanese town on the border with Syria, do not have adequate shelters to withstand the harsh winter months, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a video showing their dire living conditions. More than 15,…
Children play next to shelters in a Syrian refugee camp in Arsal, Lebanon. Around 15,000 Syrian refugees in Arsal are entering their second winter without adequate roofs and insulation since the 2019 directive ordered them to dismantle concrete shelters and rebuild the top portion with tarp and wood. November 2020.
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Syrian refugees in Arsal, a Lebanese town on the border with Syria, do not have adequate shelters to withstand the harsh winter months. More than 15,000 Syrian refugees in Arsal are experiencing their second winter since a 2019 order from the Higher…
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Urgently Address Economic, Political Crises

(Beirut) – The Lebanese authorities’ corruption and failure to address the massive political and economic crises the country is facing have resulted in the country’s most drastic deterioration of rights in decades, Human Rights Watch said today in its…
Lebanese people release balloons bearing the names of the victims of the 4 August Beirut seaport blast to mark the two-month anniversary of the explosion that killed 200 people and injured more than 6,500 others.
News

Transfers Need Independent Assessment, Refugees’ Informed Consent

(New York) – The Bangladesh government should immediately halt imminent relocations of Rohingya refugees to remote Bhasan Char island, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have reportedly prepared a list of 4,000 Rohingya refugees to be…
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News

UN Review Should Focus on Increased Protection Against Violence, Bias

(Beirut) – Lebanese authorities are falling short of their international legal obligations to protect women and girls from violence and end discrimination against them, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has submitted a report to the…
Women shout slogans and wave the Lebanese flag during a demonstration in down town Beirut.
News

Reinstate Contract; Amend Labor Law

(Beirut) – Lebanon’s State Shura Council, the country’s top administrative court, delivered a sharp blow to migrant domestic worker rights by suspending the implementation of a new standard unified contract, Amnesty International and Human Rights…
Protestors holding banners calling for the abolishment of Lebanon's controversial kafala sponsorship system.
News

Authorities Prepare to Relocate Thousands to Dangerous Island

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities beat refugees protesting their detention on Bhasan Char Island with sticks and tree branches, Human Rights Watch said today. Naval officers allegedly beat the refugees, including children, in retribution for their…
A man walks past buildings on Bhasan Char, or floating island, in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh on December 19, 2019.
News

Pushbacks Against Surge of Arrivals by Boat From Lebanon

(Athens) – Cypriot coast guard forces summarily pushed back, abandoned, expelled, or returned more than 200 migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers coming from Lebanon during the first week of September 2020 without giving them the opportunity to lodge…
Cyprus coast guard carrying migrants from a boat from Lebanon interdicted on January 14, 2020. © 2020 Reuters/Yiannis Kourtoglou