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Macron Should Address Rights Abuses in Gulf Region

This week, French President Emmanuel Macron will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with a large delegation of French ministers and major business executives. In the UAE, he will apparently be finalizing a weapons deal, when…
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French and British Governments Need New Approach to Irregular Migration

At least 27 people, including a young girl, died in the frigid waters off France this week while trying to cross to the United Kingdom in an inflatable dinghy. The tragedy has intensified a dispute between British and French officials over who bears…
Activists and members of associations defending migrants' rights light candles in front of a banner reading "309 dead on the France UK border since 1999", during a gathering outside the port of Calais, northern France, November 25, 2021.
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Government Should Not Dismiss, But Act on Reports of Inhumane Treatment

Three weeks after French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin dismissed a Human Rights Watch report on police abuse against migrants in northern France as “lies,” national officials are beginning to change their tone. Didier Leschi, head of the French…
A woman and two children stand in front of two police officers
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Summary Five years after French authorities dismantled a sprawling migrant encampment on the edge of Calais, large numbers of migrants continue to arrive in northern France, many in the hope of crossing the Channel to reach the United Kingdom. Today…
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Five years ago this month, French authorities dismantled the sprawling Calais migrant encampment known as the “Jungle,” dispersing hundreds of men, women, and children to refugee centers across the country. But because the draw of northern France is its…
Abdul Saboor at his home in Paris, March 2021.
News

Strategy of Enforced Misery Against Children, Adults

(Paris) – French officials regularly subject adults and children living in migrant encampments around Calais to degrading treatment, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Five years after French authorities demolished the sprawling…
Two children wearing winter coats stand in a forest in front of a group of police officers
News

Flout Child Protection, Immigration Rules

(Paris) – French police summarily expel dozens of unaccompanied children to Italy each month in violation of French and international law, Human Rights Watch said today. To enable the returns, the police frequently record on official documents…
A member of the French border police checks identity documents in March 2021 at the Menton-Garavan station, the first French train station for those travelling between Genoa, in Italy, and Nice, in France.
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France Complicit as Magomed Gadaev at Risk of Torture in Chechnya

Magomed Gadaev, 37, an asylum seeker from Chechnya and key witness in a high-profile torture case against Chechnya’s leadership, was abducted by Chechen security officials on April 11, two days after his deportation from France to Russia. France…
Magomed Gadaev pictured in Paris, France.
News

Stop and Punish Abuse, Provide Accommodation

On Monday night, I felt shame and disgust as I watched videos of law enforcement officers from my own country violently removing people from their tents in Paris’ Place de la République, confiscating makeshift shelters and sleeping bags, and violently…
500 tents to shelter migrants were set up on Place de la République in Paris on November 23, 2020, before being violently dismantled by police forces
News

Over a Thousand Still Stranded in Hellish Conditions on Greek Islands

In recent days, France has welcomed 49 children flown in from the nightmarish situation in the camps on Greece’s Aegean islands, where thousands of asylum seekers and migrants are stranded in horrendous conditions. On August 20, France relocated to…
Two boys walk in a makeshift camp next to the Moria camp for refugees and migrants on the island of Lesbos, Greece, September 17, 2018.
News

The Death Should Prompt Policy Change in London and Paris

It is almost five years since the body of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy, washed up on a beach in Turkey. After fleeing the war in Syria with his family, Alan died when the family’s dinghy capsized as they tried to make the dangerous journey…
A group of people thought to be migrants crossing the Channel in a small boat headed in the direction of Dover, Kent, United Kingdom, August 10, 2020.
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Authorities Should Urgently Protect Them, Give Them Shelter

Since June 30, unaccompanied migrant children have been camping in central Paris, stuck in limbo while a judge decides on their fate. Aid organizations, including Médecins Sans Frontières and Utopia 56, set up a tent camp in a Paris park to shelter…
Unaccompanied migrant children camping at Jules Ferry Park in the 11th district of Paris, July 2020.
News

Health Risks and International Law Require Safer Alternatives

  (Brussels) – People in immigration detention in European countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. “While entire societies learn to live under…
Women in the Ponte Galeria immigration detention center near Rome, Italy May 6, 2017.
News

Libya Could Have Used Ships to Commit Abuses Against Migrants and Asylum Seekers

France’s decision last week to withdraw its offer of six boats to the Libyan Coast Guard is good news, as Libya could have used this “gift” to subject even more migrants and refugees to serious abuses in Libya. In February,…
Migrants on a boat that they tried to take to Italy, after being detained at a Libyan Navy base in Tripoli on September 20, 2015.
News

The French Ombudsman Confirms Human Rights Watch’s Findings

  As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child tomorrow, the reality for many children around the world falls far short of the guarantees outlined in the treaty. Children fleeing abusive situations in…
Daouda S., a 16-year-old unaccompanied boy from Guinea, has slept on the streets of Paris for weeks at a time while he waits for a judge to hear his case. Occasionally, he is able to stay with families for short stretches. Photograph by Roopa Gogineni.
News

Children Sought Shelter in a Squat When No Shelter Was Provided to Them

In Marseille, France, unaccompanied migrant children whom child protection authorities failed to provide a living place for have been squatting in an unoccupied building owned by the Catholic church. Now, even though it’s the Bouches-du-Rhône…
Bâtiment du diocèse de Marseille occupé par le Collectif 59 Saint-Just, où vivent actuellement 200 personnes, dont des familles et environ 100 enfants migrants non accompagnés, Marseille, France, octobre 2019.