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Abuses Overlooked to Justify Cruel Asylum Policy

This week, the United Kingdom published its safety assessment on Rwanda, intended to justify a recently announced agreement to send asylum seekers crossing the English Channel or other so called “irregular” or dangerous routes to the Central African…
Protesters hold placards reading "refugees welcome here" at a demonstration
News

Government Continues to Rip Up its Duties to Asylum Seekers

Shirking its obligations to persons seeking asylum at its shores, the UK government has today signed an agreement with Rwanda to send asylum seekers crossing the English Channel there. Under the new Asylum Partnership Arrangement, people arriving…
British Home Secretary Priti Patel (L), and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Vincent Biruta sign an agreement
News

Government Should Treat All Refugees Equally

Shortly after Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine, the Danish Immigration Service reportedly asked Denmark’s 98 municipalities to assess their capacity to take in Ukrainian refugees. This same agency recently began stripping Syrian refugees of their…
Protesters hold red heart-shaped signs
News

The House of Lords Should Safeguard Life and Rights in the Channel

Today, the House of Lords has the chance to take a stand against the UK government’s attempt to “legalize” pushbacks in the English Channel. The House will debate an amendment to the Nationality and Borders Bill, which would ensure UK officials cannot…
A damaged inflatable small boat is pictured on the shore in Calais, northern France, November 25, 2021.
News

Proposed Borders Bill Would Cause More Suffering, Less Protection

Perhaps the most draconian immigration bill in the United Kingdom’s history is moving swiftly through parliament, currently in its final days of scrutiny in the Commons. The Nationality and Borders Bill seeks to dismantle core tenets of the…
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

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.
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

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

Education Not Prioritized at Annual Donor Conference

June 30 was possibly the most important day of 2020 for Syrian refugee children. At the annual pledging conference for the “Future of Syria and the Region,” dozens of governments and multilateral donors pledged US$7.7 billion in humanitarian aid for…
Hanan, a Syrian refugee in Jordan, created learning ‘blocks’ for her children from discarded cigarette cases.
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

Long Past Time to Put an End to Brutal Treatment of Migrants, Asylum Seekers

Ten years ago, I documented a systematic pattern of brutal Greek border police pushbacks of migrants and asylum seekers at the Evros River border that divides Greece and Turkey. Last week, as I edited a new Human Rights Watch report, I…
Migrants that crossed the land border between Greece and Turkey are seen at the Pre-Removal Detention Center in the village of Fylakio, Northern Greece, February 24, 2017.
News

All Warring Parties Need to Protect Civilians

An eerie calm has descended on Syria’s Idlib governorate, the largest remaining part of the country where numerous armed groups face the Syrian government and its Russian ally. Gone are the Syrian and Russian fighter jets that were…
201810middleeast_syria_idlib_withdrawal
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.
News

New Policy Will Help Open School Doors

The big picture is bleak for Syrian refugee children, but the Jordanian government recently took a step to ensure these children’s right to an education. Jordanian regulations require Syrian children to have a “service card,” issued by the…
Syrian children attend class in a school in the Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, October 20, 2015. The school taught Syrian girls in the morning and boys in the afternoon, but lacked electricity, heating, and running water.
News

Iranian Asylum Seeker’s Case Shows Flaws of EU-Turkey Deal

Yesterday I woke up to an alarming text message: “Hi, call me please. My brother today [will be] deported [to] Turkey.” The text was from Arash, a 30-year-old Iranian asylum seeker stuck on the Greek island of Lesbos, who was desperate…
2016-4-eca-deportation-1
News

Providing a Safe Haven Inside Syria Would Be Complicated, Costly and Probably Dangerous

  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said this week the United States "will work to establish interim zones of stability [in Syria], through ceasefires, to allow refugees to return home." Although the Pentagon said…
Khirmash displaced persons camp in Syria on Turkey’s border, sheltering about 2,000 people as of mid-April 2016.
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

Biggest Barrier to Children’s Education is Parents Out of Work

More than 40 percent of Syrian refugee children are still not going to school. That’s according to a new UNICEF report, which says that while Turkey has seen a 50 percent increase in school attendance for Syrian refugee children since last June, far too…
Maya, 9, reads a school textbook in her family home. She enjoys attending her local public school in izmir, on turkey’s west coast, where she is one of four Syrian students in her class.
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