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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

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.
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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…
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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.
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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.
News

Serbia, Hungary Leave People Without Adequate Shelter as Winter Hits Hard

While many in Serbia prepare for Orthodox Christmas, others in the country and neighboring Hungary are bedding down in freezing cold weather hoping to survive. Temperatures in Hungary and Serbia have dropped to minus 20 degrees centigrade at night.…
Asylum seekers and migrants living in appalling conditions in abandoned warehouses behind Belgrade train station, Serbia. November 22, 2016.
News
  Q&A: Why the EU-Turkey Migration Deal is No Blueprint On March 18, 2016, the European Union signed an agreement with Turkey to stem migration and refugee flows to Greece. In 2015, over 850,000 people reached Greek islands by boat…
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With little fanfare or media attention, the European Union and Greece yesterday quietly resumed deporting “irregular migrants” from Greece to Turkey. After a two-week pause, boats reportedly took 31 people from Kos, 13 from Lesbos…
A Frontex officer (L) escorts a deportee onto a boat on the Greek island of Lesbos, April 4, 2016.
News
Things are bad when Syrian government barrel bombs rain down on your home and force you to flee to a displaced persons camp. Things are really bad when ISIS comes to your camp and orders you to leave. But when Turkish border troops – working with the…
Ikdah camp in Syria near Turkish border
News
The first returns of migrants - including perhaps some asylum seekers - from Greece to Turkey seem as dodgy as the EU-Turkey deal itself. And it will likely get worse. On the island of Lesbos, the EU and Greece staged a show…
Migrants look through a fence from inside the Moria registration centre for refugees and migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos, Greece April 4, 2016.
News
“I have been here for five days already, outside and without a roof over my head. I can’t sleep, it’s too cold, and I have to be awake in case they [police] call my number.” Ahmed, 21, was one of hundreds of single Afghan men…
Two Afghan asylum seekers sleeping on the ground outside a registration camp in Dimitrovgrad, Serbia.
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Yesterday, the European Union and Turkey reached an agreement designed to curb the flow of migrants to Europe and to Turkey. But the deal carries huge risks for Turkey, the EU, and above all refugees and asylum seekers. …
Turkish Gendarmes lead a group of refugees to buses to prevent them from sailing off for the Greek island of Chios by dinghies, at a beach in the western Turkish coastal town of Cesme.
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I thought long and hard before I retweeted the photo of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi. It shows the lifeless toddler, lying face down on a popular Turkish beach, one of eleven Syrians who have almost certainly died as they tried to reach safety in Europe by…
A man carries the body of a dead Syrian boy who died at sea.
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The Hungarian government’s problematic approach to asylum seekers and migrants has hit a new low. The changes to the Hungarian asylum law as of August 1, among other things, mean that asylum claims from anyone entering via a country on a safe “third”…
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Questions and Answers

The European Union (EU) is facing unprecedented numbers of refugees and migrants arriving by boat. In 2014, 220,000 people arrived, almost double the combined total of 121,000 from 2011 through 2013. During just the first six…
Un buque de la Armada irlandesa Le Eithne, participa en una operación de rescate como parte del operativo Frontex Tritón, el 6 de junio de 2015
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Two Iraqi men died from hypothermia at the border between Bulgaria and Turkey, after Bulgarian border guards allegedly beat the Iraqis when they attempted to cross into Bulgaria – an incident that is only the latest horrible reminder of the crisis at…