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Visit Puts Orban Government’s Cruel Migration Policies Under Spotlight

On September 12, Budapest will welcome the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, a Pope whose message constantly called for welcoming migrants and refugees. But Hungary’s treatment of people seeking protection is a far cry from Pope Francis’…
Pope Francis unveils the sculpture on the theme of refugees and migration ' Angels Unawares ' by Canadian sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz, on Migrant and Refugee World Day, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019.
News

New Decree Rolls Back Some of the Worst Aspects of Immigration Policy

It pledged last year to do so, and now the Italian government has restored some humanity to its immigration and asylum system. This week, the council of ministers adopted a decree that reverses many of the worst policies imposed by the previous…
Italians and asylum seekers from the local specialized reception center work together to clear debris after floods in Belluno, Italy, November 2018.
News

States Should Allow Rescue Boats to Land, While Protecting Health

(Milan) – European governments’ actions to close their ports to people rescued at sea puts lives at risk and cannot be justified on public health grounds, Human Rights Watch said today. The imperative to protect the right to health in a pandemic…
Crew work seen on the Alan Kurdi rescue ship, operated by German charity Sea Eye.
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

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

New Naval Mission Designed to Avoid Sea Rescues

It is a craven, indefensible choice. Yesterday, European Union foreign ministers agreed to launch a mission in the Mediterranean Sea to enforce the United Nations-mandated Libyan arms embargo on the condition that it not focus on saving…
Migrants are transfered by Italian sailors from the German combat supply ship 'Frankfurt am Main' to the their ship 'Grecale' after being rescued during EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, March 29, 2016.
News

As Abuse Is Known, Material Assistance Makes Rome Complicit

(Milan) – The Italian government should suspend all support to the Libyan Coast Guard until Libya commits to a clear plan to fully respect migrants’ safety and rights, Human Rights Watch said today. The plan should include closing…
Photo released by the Libyan Coast Guard showing people disembarking in Libya after being intercepted offshore, June 24, 2018.
News

Draconian Migration Measures Put Lives, Rights at Risk

  (Milan) – Italy’s Democratic Party-Five Star Movement coalition government should revoke anti-asylum and anti-rescue measures held over from the previous government, Human Rights Watch said today. The government is expected to propose…
Migrants are crowded together on deck of the rescue ship "Eleonore" as it seaches for a safe port in the Mediterranean.
News

Chance to Implement Humane Approach

Italy’s new coalition government, fragile as it may be, presents a chance for the country to move away from migration policies that put lives at risk and back to those grounded in respect for human rights, including the right to life.…
Migrants are crowded together on deck of the rescue ship "Eleonore" as it seaches for a safe port in the Mediterranean.
News

Rome Should Not Prosecute NGO Ship Captain

Update: (June 27, 2019) – As of 5:30pm local time, Italian authorities were still blocking the Sea Watch 3 from docking at the Lampedusa port, over 24 hours after they entered Italian waters. A tweet from the organization at 5:37pm…
Italian Finance Police board the rescue ship Sea-Watch 3 after it disembarked 47 migrants at the Sicilian port of Catania, southern Italy, January 31, 2019.
News

Criminal Penalties Could Deter Saving Lives at Sea

(Milan) –The Italian government should firmly reject a proposal to fine shipmasters up to €5,500 for every person they rescue and take to Italy, Human Rights Watch said today. Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has proposed…
The migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, carrying 47 migrants, comes into dock at the Sicilian port of Catania, southern Italy, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019.
News

Misrata Security Forces Use Force After Rescued People Refuse to Land

(Milan) – Libyan security forces forcibly removed 79 migrants and asylum seekers on November 20, 2018 from the Panama-flagged cargo ship Nivin in the port of Misrata in Libya, after they refused to leave the ship for 10 days, Human…
map of Libya
News

Preventing Rescue at Sea, Punishing Survivors on Land

The current Italian government’s inhumane approach to refugees and migrants has reached a new low. On September 23, news emerged that Italy had pressured Panama to revoke the use of its flag on the Aquarius, the only…
A wooden boat carrying 29 people, mainly Syrians, just before their rescue and transfer to the Aquarius. October 10, 2017
News
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.
News

Central European University Suspends Program for Asylum Seekers

An education program aimed at giving asylum seekers and refugees in Hungary a new start is the first casualty of the government’s most recent anti-immigrant measures. This week, the Central European University (CEU) suspended…
People in Budapest protest a draft law targeting Central European University, Hungary, April 4, 2017.
News

Cease Inhumane Treatment, Resume Distribution Immediately

(Budapest) – Hungarian authorities have stopped food distribution since early August 2018 to some rejected asylum seekers held in transit zones on the Hungarian-Serbian border, Human Rights Watch said today. They should immediately ensure that all…
An anti-immigration poster by Viktor Orban's Fidesz party during Hungary's April 2018 elections, April 8, 2018, Gyongyos, Hungary.
News

Allow European Rescues, Agree on Safe Disembarkation

(Milan) – The European Union’s obstruction of nongovernmental rescues and handover of responsibility to Libyan coast guard forces is a recipe for even greater loss of life in the Mediterranean and a continuing cycle of abuse for people…
SOS MEDITERRANEE crew rescue people off an over-crowded rubber boat in the Mediterranean, June 9, 2018.
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