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Stronger Safeguards Vital as Border Agency Expands

(Brussels) – The European Union border guard agency’s oversight mechanisms have failed to safeguard people against serious human rights violations at the EU’s external borders, Human Rights Watch said today. An analysis of the actions of the…
A Portuguese vessel in a Frontex operation in Lesbos, Greece, 2016.
News

Flout Child Protection, Immigration Rules

(Paris) – French police summarily expel dozens of unaccompanied children to Italy each month in violation of French and international law, Human Rights Watch said today. To enable the returns, the police frequently record on official documents…
A member of the French border police checks identity documents in March 2021 at the Menton-Garavan station, the first French train station for those travelling between Genoa, in Italy, and Nice, in France.
News

Opportunity to Learn Lessons for Future

(Milan) – An Italian program to provide undocumented migrants with a pathway to residency adopted amid the Covid-19 pandemic did not live up to its promise, Human Rights Watch said today. It is too early to know how many people will ultimately…
An immigrant worker picks clementines in Corgiliano-Rossano, Calabria, southern Italy, December 12, 2020. ©
News

Collective European Action Needed for Migrants Stranded on Lesbos

European governments should step up urgent efforts to relocate nearly 13,000 men, women, and children left homeless by fires inside Moria camp on the Greek Aegean island of Lesbos, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the fires at Moria camp on…
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News

EU Should Press Athens to Halt Abuses

(Athens) – Greek law enforcement officers have summarily returned asylum seekers and migrants at the land and sea borders with Turkey during the Covid-19 lockdown, Human Rights Watch said today. The officers in some cases used violence against asylum…
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

Detained, Assaulted, Stripped, Summarily Deported

(Athens) – Greek security forces and unidentified armed men at the Greece-Turkey land border have detained, assaulted, sexually assaulted, robbed, and stripped asylum seekers and migrants, then forced them back to Turkey, Human Rights Watch said…
An asylum seeker in northern Turkey at the Greek border on March 6 shows injuries he says Greek security forces inflicted after he had crossed the Evros River into Greece. Photo by Turkish Radio and Television Corporation/Handout/Anadolu Agency.
News

Authorities Use Violence, Threats, Detention to Coerce Returns

(Beirut) – Turkish authorities in Istanbul and Antakya arbitrarily detained and deported dozens of Syrians and possibly many more to northern Syria between January and September 2019 despite active hostilities there, Human Rights Watch…
Turkish authorities have used the Cilvegözü border crossing, pictured here on March 3, 2015, to deport Syrian refugees. © 2015 Getty Images
News

Malaysia, Turkey Should Investigate Unlawful Deportations

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities should reveal the whereabouts of at least five Egyptian dissidents who were deported to Egypt in recent weeks, Human Rights Watch said today. Malaysian authorities deported at least four men to Egypt in early March, and…
Abdallah Mahmoud Hisham was deported from Malaysia on March 3, 2019 after about a month of detention. His wife said that he has not been charged, but that his family was not able to locate him.
News

End Summary Returns, Unchecked Violence

(Athens) – Greek law enforcement officers at the land border with Turkey in the northeastern Evros region routinely summarily return asylum seekers and migrants, Human Rights Watch said today. The officers in some cases use violence and often…
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

Violence, Abuse; Denied Opportunity to Apply for Asylum

(Budapest) – Croatian police are pushing migrants and asylum seekers back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in some cases violently, and without giving them the possibility to seek asylum, Human Rights Watch said. Human Rights Watch interviewed…
Migrants including asylum seekers in a dilapidated building in Borici camp, Bihac, Bosnia Herzegovina. November 19, 2018.
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.
News

Compensate Displaced Residents for Use, Damage

(Beirut) – Turkey-backed armed groups in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have seized, looted, and destroyed property of Kurdish civilians in the Afrin district of northern Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The anti-government armed…
Camel in front of the Hussein’s studio which was turned into a butcher shop. © 2018 Private
News
Thousands of asylum seekers are trapped in crowded and filthy processing centers on the Greek islands, with many spending the winter in lightweight tents or even sleeping outside on the ground. Greece contends it has to keep the…
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News

Exposes Asylum Seekers to Further Risk, Abuse

(Beirut) – Guards at Turkey’s closed border with Syria are indiscriminately shooting at and summarily returning Syrian asylum seekers attempting to cross into Turkey, Human Rights Watch said today. Syrians are fleeing…
A wall along the border between Turkey and Syria is seen in Kilis province, Turkey.
News

Flawed Procedures Leave Those on Lesbos at Risk of Abuse

(Athens) – Unaccompanied migrant children on the Greek island of Lesbos are being incorrectly identified as adults and housed with unrelated adults, leaving them vulnerable to abuse and unable to access the specific care they need,…
Entrance into the Moria hotspot in Lesbos, Greece, where children registered as adults are accommodated with unrelated adult single men, exposed to very poor living conditions, including overcrowding, inadequate sanitation, and frequent incidents of viole
News

Italy Should Direct Safe Rescues

(Milan) – Libyan forces have engaged in reckless conduct during recent rescue operations that endangered people being rescued in international waters in the Mediterranean, Human Rights Watch said today. These incidents indicate that…
Aerial photograph of overcrowded migrant boat, taken at 05:01 UTC on May 10, 2017, and provided by Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Rome to Sea-Watch 2 for identification purposes.
News

Afghan, Iranian Children Lack Status, Risk Child Labor

(Brussels) – Many child asylum seekers in Turkey are not going to school because of arbitrary policies for asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today. The Turkish interior ministry should revise the policies for non-Syrian asylum…
Sarvar and Marzina, Afghan asylum seekers in Denizli, with their son Matin. The couple cannot afford to send their 18-year-old daughter to school and are occasionally unable able to afford food.
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

EU-Turkey Deal Traps People in Abuse and Denies Them Refuge

(Athens) – The EU-Turkey deal has trapped thousands of people in abysmal conditions on the Greek islands for the past year, while denying most access to asylum procedures and refugee protection, Human Rights Watch said today. This assessment of conditions…
Asylum seekers from Algeria at a refugee squat on Lesbos. People of certain nationalities presumptively considered “economic migrants,” such as Algerians, are treated as having manifestly unfounded claims, and are often detained on that basis.
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…