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Government Should Curb Chilling Environment for Civil Society

A hearing held last week between the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Mary Lawlor, and human rights defenders in Greece revealed the scale of the hostile environment civil society groups face working on migration in the…
A dinghy with migrants, left, with Turkish ships in the background, in the narrow stretch of water between the eastern Greek island of Lesbos and the Turkish coast on April 2, 2021.
News

Challenge Chokehold on Desperately Needed Humanitarian Aid, Call for Independent Inquiry

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting today to consider its response to yesterday’s decision by Ethiopia’s federal government to declare seven senior UN officials as “persona non grata,” unwelcome in the country. The…
An organizer asks displaced Tigrayans to queue as they wait to receive food at a school in Mekele, in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, May 5, 2021.
News

UN Security Council, Regional Bodies, Other Countries Should Also Target Rights Abusers

Today, United States President Joe Biden signed an executive order that allows the US government to impose sanctions against those responsible for a range of serious human rights abuses in northern Ethiopia. The order establishes a sanctions regime…
Tigrayan men sit atop a hill overlooking part of the Umm Rakouba refugee camp, in Qadarif, eastern Sudan, on December 14, 2020. 
News

Action Needed to End Lost Learning for Refugee, Asylum-Seeking Children

The first day of school in Greece, September 13, signals the return to in-person schooling for children after a year of Covid-19 related disruptions and learning loss. Today will be especially important for refugee and asylum-seeking children, most of…
Children play in a playground in the Ritsona refugee camp, north of Athens, Greece on October 22, 2019.
News

Criminal Investigations Risk Chilling Civil Society

Greek authorities are using criminal investigations to harass and intimidate groups that investigate abuses against migrants at Greece’s border. At a July 19 press conference, Greek police on the island of Lesbos announced a criminal case against…
A dinghy with migrants, left, with Turkish ships in the background, in the narrow stretch of water between the eastern Greek island of Lesbos and the Turkish coast on April 2, 2021.
News

Human Rights Council Should Adopt Resolution on Abuses in Tigray

As reports of grave rights abuses continue to emerge from the Tigray region of Ethiopia, the United Nations Human Rights Council is considering a resolution to add Tigray to its agenda. It should do so immediately. Communities in Tigray have…
Tigrinyan refugee women prepare bread for their family in Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan on December 11, 2020 
News

UN Says 350,000 People in Tigray Starving, Millions More at Risk

G7 leaders meeting this week should galvanize an immediate global response to the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. Yesterday, the United Nations and other aid agencies warned that some 350,000 people are already…
People walk from a rural area towards a food distribution site near the town of Agula, in Tigray, Ethiopia
News

Government’s Investigation Underscores Need for Independent, International Inquiry

This week Ethiopia’s attorney general’s office released its findings into allegations of atrocities committed by Ethiopian and Eritrean forces in Tigray’s historic city of Axum in late November 2020. The press release stated that most of those killed…
Priest on his way to church in Axum, Tigray region, Ethiopia on January 25, 2011.
News

Urgently Address Humanitarian and Human Rights Crisis

Today is the fifth time the United Nations Security Council will discuss the conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region behind closed doors. Five months into one of the world’s gravest humanitarian and human rights crises, the UN’s most powerful…
Children in front of the Africa/Ayga hotel likely damaged by a direct fire weapon in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020.
News

Internal Inquiry Only Exposed Tip of the Iceberg

An internal probe looking into allegations that the EU border patrol agency, Frontex, is involved in, among other abuses, pushbacks of asylum seekers and migrants at Greece’s sea border with Turkey, raises questions about its willingness or…
An officer from the European Union’s border protection agency, Frontex, holds the arm of a migrant as they board a ferry in the port of Mytilini, Lesbos island, Greece, on Friday, April 8, 2016.
News

Strong Political Declaration Needed to Reduce Civilian Harm

The Covid-19 pandemic has put the brakes on many things, including the negotiations to conclude a new political declaration on explosive weapons in populated areas. But states have continued such use, particularly with weapons with wide-area effects,…
Children in front of the Africa/Ayga hotel likely damaged by a direct fire weapon in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020.
News
What are the risks of lead poisoning? Who is most at risk? Why is Human Rights Watch concerned about lead contamination at the Mavrovouni migrant camp, on Lesbos? What were the results of the testing? Is the testing that the government…
The area on the hill from where authorities are removing soil
News
On November 4, 2020, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appeared on state television and acknowledged that he ordered the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) to commence operations against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in response…
Ethiopia country page map
News

European Support Needed for Unaccompanied Children

In a huge victory for children’s rights, the Greek government is ending the long-standing practice of detaining unaccompanied migrant children in jail cells. The announcement was made on November 18 by the Migration and Asylum Minister of Greece,…
Unaccompanied children line up for an evening meal at a detention facility run by the Greek police.
News

Border Patrol Agency has a Duty to Protect Human Rights

Mounting evidence suggests the Greek government has been secretly expelling thousands of migrants trying to reach its shores. An EUObserver article published on November 18 also suggests the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) is aware of…
An officer from the European Union’s border protection agency, Frontex, holds the arm of a migrant as they board a ferry in the port of Mytilini, Lesbos island, Greece, on Friday, April 8, 2016.
News

Historic Conviction Against Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party

In a momentous ruling today, an Athens appeals court found that the far-right neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party was operating as a criminal organization. The court also found that members of the group orchestrated or colluded in the 2013 murder of 34-year-…
Magda Fyssa, the mother of late Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, who was stabbed and killed by a supporter of the extreme right Golden Dawn party in 2013, celebrates immediately after the delivery of the verdict in Athens, October 7, 2020. 
News

Oromo Holiday Has Been a Flashpoint for Violence

Each year, massive crowds gather in the town of Bishoftu in Ethiopia’s Oromia region for the Oromo harvest festival of Irreecha. It’s one of the year’s most important cultural and religious events for millions of ethnic Oromos. But this year’s…
Armed security forces watch during the Irreecha cultural festival in Bishoftu, Ethiopia on October 2, 2016.
News

Groups File Complaint Against Abusive Migrant Pushbacks, Asylum Law in Greece

What will it take for the European Commission, as the guardian of European Union law, to use its enforcement powers against Greece over its treatment of migrants and asylum seekers? That’s the question at the heart of Oxfam and WeMove Europe’s…
The Greek Coast Guard has been accused of using rescue equipment - namely inflatable, motorless life rafts - to leave asylum seekers and migrants adrift in open water close to the Turkish sea border. May 25, 2020
News

20 Years On, UN Should Compensate Victims

Today, the United Nations human rights expert on hazardous waste called out the UN for consistently failing the victims of widespread lead poisoning in refugee camps it ran in Kosovo. The UN leadership should listen and take long-overdue action in…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug refugee camp in Mitrovica city, northern Kosovo. Cesmin Lug is one of several camps that the UN established in what was known to be a heavily contaminated area near a defunct lead mine. December 12, 2007.
News

Refugees Now Sleeping on the Streets Need Protection and Assistance

Fires that consumed Europe’s largest refugee camp, Moria, on the Greek island of Lesbos earlier this week have left nearly 13,000 men, women, and children without shelter or access to basic services.  Prior to the fires, security in the…
Moria camp on Lesbos island following a fire that started on the evening of September 8, 2020, destroying most of the camp and leaving 12,000 asylum seekers and refugees without shelter.