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Companies’ Respect for Rights at Particular Risk During Covid-19

This would have been the week: The German government had put the planned Supply Chain Act on its cabinet meeting agenda. If passed, the law would require companies to ensure that the rights of workers and communities in their supply chains are…
Workers sew clothes in a garments factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 25, 2020.
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Following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he wanted “to make the Mediterranean a chance and not a fear.” But does he mean Europeans’ fears of foreigners,…
Migrants are seen onboard the charity ship Lifeline at Boiler Wharf in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta June 27, 2018.
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Last week, the European People's Party (EPP) had a chance to stand up for its values and those of the European Union. But instead, it ducked the issue. The umbrella group of center-right and Christian democrat parties in European…
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban before a photo at the European Union Tallinn Digital Summit in Tallinn, Estonia, September 29, 2017.
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Germany has a growing club of global apparel brands making their supplier factory information public. Unfortunately, KiK is dragging its feet on transparency, and has stayed out of the club. Transparency in the garment industry about the…
A garment worker sews clothing in a building near the site of the Rana Plaza building collapse.
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Refugees are one of the most debated topics in the campaign before Germany’s election on September 24. The political programs of the seven parties most likely to be elected do all reflect this. According to its party platform, the right-…
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Putting Lives at Risk in Kabul

This week, the German government deported to Kabul another 26 rejected Afghan asylum seekers – the second such wave of deportations in as many months. They come home to a city that is both divided and insecure. There is the Kabul of the embassies:…
Protesters hold a placard reading "Afghanistan is not secure" during a demonstration against the deportation of Afghan asylum seekers from Germany back to Afghanistan, at Frankfurt Airport, Germany, December 14, 2016.Afghans, whose asylum applications hav
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Refugees Assist Investigations in France, Germany and Sweden

As Bashar al-Assad’s forces ramped up their bombing campaign on rebel-held territory over the past year, his government may not have realized that they were cracking its shield against accountability for crimes committed in the Syrian conflict since 2011…
Shelters burning in Iqdah displaced persons camp near the closed Turkish border north of Aleppo after ISIS took over the camp on April 14.
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They survived treacherous boat journeys between Turkey and Greece, barbed wire in Hungary, and cascading border closures across the Balkans – a journey, mainly on foot, that took months. Now, safe in Germany, with the most dangerous part of their trek…
Hassan fled Damascus and after arriving in Berlin began volunteering at a refugee center, handing out clothes, food and baby carriages.
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Germany’s generous and humane response to Europe’s refugee crisis is under threat. While most EU governments have sought to shirk their responsibilities, Berlin has done the right thing, welcoming people from refugee-producing countries…
Cologne Central Station
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Lack of Consensus on Mandatory Relocation; Shift Focus to Countries Outside EU

(Brussels) – The response to the refugee crisis agreed by the European Union interior ministers on September 14, 2015, is largely focused on shifting responsibility to countries outside the EU, Human Rights Watch said today. …
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The list of attacks against centers for asylum seekers in Germany is alarming. During the first six months of this year alone, the German Interior Ministry registered 173 such offences, the majority of which were arson attacks. And the list is getting…
 Caption: Right wing protesters who are against bringing asylum seekers to an accommodation facility run down a street in Heidenau, Germany August 22, 2015
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In the United States, the front-running Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, accuses the Mexican government of “forcing their most unwanted people into the United States … criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” In the United…
calais migrants police
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Politicians are not well known for going out of their way to change their attitudes. Yet the  plight of refugees is spurring them to do just that. Politicians need to convince voters that refugees are not a burden, but people in need of protection, with…
On Kos, children and adults alike sleep in tents provided by Doctors without Borders, while waiting for processing, which can take three weeks or more.
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The EU is responsible for correcting the irrational, irresponsible debate about migration to Europe. So far, it’s failed.

Imagine the Hollywood blockbuster about one boat’s perilous journey in the Mediterranean. The Eritrean mother with her five-year-old son, the 16-year-old Afghan boy traveling on his own, and the Syrian patriarch with his entire family — they would be the…
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Augmented Search and Rescue, but Focus Still on Preventing Departure

(Brussels) – The commitment by European Union heads of state to triple the capacity of Frontex operations in the Mediterranean is an important step towards preventing migrant deaths at sea, Human Rights Watch said today. But the EU, at its extraordinary…
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Dear European Union Heads of State and Government, Human Rights Watch welcomes your decision to hold an extraordinary Council Summit to address the crisis in the Mediterranean Sea. At least 1,600 migrants and asylum seekers have died attempting…
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(Milan) - The European Union (EU) should act immediately to prevent further deaths at sea, Human Rights Watch said. As many as 700 migrants and asylum seekers are feared dead in a single shipwreck in the Mediterranean north of Libya on April 19, 2015,…
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Publicly Releasing Factory Lists Promotes Worker Rights

(Berlin) – German apparel and footwear brands should promote workers’ rights in their global operations by publicly disclosing the factories producing their products. Supply chain transparency through public disclosure would demonstrate a brand’s…