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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.
Report
Summary As the harmful effects of immigration detention become more widely known and the appropriateness of detaining migrants is increasingly questioned, governments are looking at alternatives to detention as more humane and rights-respecting…
News

Proposed Pushbacks Show Disregard for Life and Safety at Sea

The UK government’s reported plan to “turn around” boats of migrants and refugees in the English Channel is irresponsible, dangerous, and unlawful. But talking about “turn-arounds” almost makes these tactics sound gentle. Pushbacks at sea would…
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent, by Border Force officers on September 5, 2021.
News

Costly, Abusive Approach Fails to Address System’s Flaws

The United Kingdom government’s new borders bill is expected to include the option of detaining asylum seekers offshore, according to multiple news reports. The emerging details of the policy shift suggest an approach that would not only likely cause…
A group of people on the deck of HMC Seeker as they wait to be brought ashore by the UK Border Force in Kent. September 22, 2020.
News

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

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.
News

COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
News

Parliament’s House of Lords Should Reject Plan to Block Family Reunification After Brexit

Eighty-one years ago last month, the first of the Kindertransport trains arrived in the United Kingdom, bearing children fleeing conflict and persecution ahead of the outbreak of World War II. In total, the Kindertransport rescue effort…
Kindertransport Statue
News

Racial Profiling, Beatings in Detention

(Berlin) – Russian police rounded up and arbitrarily detained scores of Central Asian migrant workers, beating many of them, in a series of raids in mid-December 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. The raids, which were…
Shadows of people detained by Russian police, suspected of violating immigration rules during an action seen on containers at a street market in Moscow, Russia, August 7, 2013. © AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
News

The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
News

Dire Conditions for Thousands Fleeing Fighting

(Beirut) – Jordanian and Israeli authorities should allow Syrians fleeing fighting in Daraa governorate to claim asylum and protect them, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 16, 2018, the Syrian-Russian military alliance opened an…
An Internally displaced girl from Daraa province carries a stuffed toy and holds the hand of child near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in Quneitra, Syria June 29, 2018. © 2018 Reuters/Alaa Al-Faqir
News

Russian Supreme Court Says There is No War in Syria, Nothing to Flee From

Despite eight years of civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands and ravaged Syria, Russia’s Supreme Court incredulously declared that Zakria Timbut has nothing to fear in returning to his homeland. Fearing for his life…
A woman walks with a child amid rubble at Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood in Aleppo, Syria July 16, 2017.
News

Reopen Dubs Amendment; Improve Family Reunification Process

Tomorrow, UK parliamentarians will hold a much-needed debate on the situation of migrants and asylum seekers in Calais, one year after the demolition of the so-called “Jungle” camp. The discussion is critical, because conditions…
Unaccompanied children in the Calais migrant camp await interviews with the UK Home Office, October 22, 2016.
Report
Summary Since 2011, violence in Syria has forcibly displaced at least 1.6 million school-age children to other countries in the region. Before the conflict, more than 90 percent of Syrian children attended primary school and 70 percent…
News

Risk of Torture, Ill-Treatment

  UPDATE: On August 4, the European Court of Human Rights issued a preliminary injunction ordering Russia not to deport Khodoberdi Nurmatov to Uzbekistan, until the court can review his case.   (Moscow) – An Uzbek…
Ali Feruz at Basmanny district court in Moscow waiting for his hearing in the evening of August 1, 2017.
News
Recent statements by leaders and governments in the United States, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan indicate an interest in creating so-called safe zones in Syria. While no detailed plans for creating and managing such…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
News

Calls for Safe Zones Raise Concerns

(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch today released a question-and-answer document on “safe zones” and the armed conflict in Syria. A number of leaders and governments have suggested that creating safe zones in Syria near the Turkish or other borders could…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
News

UK Government Ends Program to Protect Lone Children

A statue of five young children, gathered around their suitcases and looking a little lost, sits outside London’s Liverpool Street Station. It’s a gift to the people of Britain on behalf of the children of Kindertransport, the rescue effort that brought…
A statue in front of London’s Liverpool Street Station commemorates the Kindertransport. A plaque at the base expresses “gratitude to the people of Britain for saving the lives of 10,000 unaccompanied mainly Jewish children who fled from Nazi persecution