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Governments Should Reject Costly, Harmful Policy for Refugees, Asylum Seekers

(Sydney) – Other governments should reject Australia’s abusive and costly offshore processing of refugees and asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today. July 19, 2021 is the eighth anniversary of the Australian government’s resumption of its…
Asylum seekers and human rights activists protest against the detention of refugees amid the Covid-19 crisis in Brisbane.
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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
News
The European Court of Human Rights found on 19 September that Finland violated its positive duty to protect the right to life of nine students and a teacher in a mass shooting at their vocational institute. It is only the second time that the court…
School #1 in Beslan, North Ossetia. 2004.
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Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
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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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News
  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
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News

Bill Threatens Their Health

  (Sydney) – An Australian bill to change the current system of medical transfers would risk the health of refugees and asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, Human Rights Watch said today. On August 16, 2019, Human Rights Watch made a…
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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

Human Rights Council Seat Demands Greater Leadership

(Sydney) – The Australian government should make the protection of human rights a central focus of its foreign policy, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the recently reappointed Foreign Minister Marise Payne that was released today. …
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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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News

New ‘Ageing Equal’ Campaign Calls Out Ageism Worldwide

Today, as the world marks the international day of older persons, Human Rights Watch is joining with older people and other groups to support the launch of the Ageing Equal campaign to raise global awareness of the human rights of older…
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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…
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Fifth Anniversary of Refugees Suffering on Manus, Nauru Islands

(Sydney) –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…
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News

Plan Would Link EU Funds to Rule of Law, Functioning Judiciary

It’s not every day the European Commission proposes something truly ground-breaking. But yesterday, when the EU announced a new plan to link EU funds given to member states to the health of their judiciary, it did just that.…
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 28, 2015.
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When people ask me what rising sea levels and hurricanes have to do with human rights, I tell them about my work trip to the Maldives back in 2008. At the time, the small island nation was undertaking democratic reforms and leading the diplomatic…
Maldivian Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Ibrahim Didi signs a declaration calling on countries to cut down carbon dioxide emissions ahead of a major UN climate change conference in the Maldives, October 17, 2009. The Maldivian president and ministe
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UN Expert Body Calls for Regional Processing Centers to Close

This week, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights reviewed Australia’s asylum policy. Once again, Australia’s officials were both disingenuous and unconvincing in their appearance before the committee, which monitors state…
A protester from the Refugee Action Coalition holds a placard during a demonstration outside the offices of the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Sydney, Australia, April 29, 2016.