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Processing asylum claims at the US border is a Gordian knot in need of a clean cut. My scissors are ready. The solution is not procedural, but rather, a simpler, fairer asylum standard that will allow US decision-makers to quickly identify and protect…
Migrants seeking asylum wait in line with their case paperwork to meet with an attorney on Oct. 5, 2019, during a weekly trip by volunteers, lawyers, paralegals and interpreters to the migrant campsite outside El Puente Nuevo in Matamoros, Mexico.
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Forcing Parental Involvement in Abortion Violates Rights

A law in the US state of Illinois that forces people under 18 to involve an adult family member in their abortion decision is failing some of the state’s young people and violating their human rights. In a new joint report with the American Civil…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
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How Ten Years of Advocacy and Incremental Changes Add Up

In Greece, a recent high-profile court ruling and policy change mark momentous human rights victories for migrants and children. On October 7, an Athens court ruled that the country’s far-right xenophobic political party, Golden Dawn, whose members…
A woman sits with her children in Victoria Square in Athens, Greece, awaiting transfer after being evicted from their place of residence, July 20, 2020.
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Last July, I spoke with Sky H., a 20-year–old who identifies as non-binary and grew up in a very conservative rural town in the Black Belt region of Alabama. In school, Sky received abstinence-only…
Desks in an empty classroom
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Many Detainees Should Be Released; States Should Halt Transfers

As people across the United States prepared for Memorial Day last month, a second person in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody died of complications from Covid-19. Santiago Baten-Oxlaj, 34, from Guatemala, passed away at the Piedmont…
An illustration of a man in a prison uniform lying in fetal position at a crossroads (the roads have barbed wire)
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The Trump administration is talking about freezing immigration for 60 days, at a time when it’s urgent to address the vulnerability of thousands of Venezuelans in the United States.

As COVID-19 spreads, it’s clearer than ever that millions of Venezuelans who have fled a brutal government crackdown and an already collapsed health system in their home country can’t return safely. The U.S. government has the ability to grant…
People protest outside the children's hospital JM de los Rios because of lack of medicines, in Caracas, Venezuela March 12, 2020.
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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.
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How has the situation on Lesbos changed since your last visit? When I was here in 2016, I couldn’t imagine things being worse. We saw a lawless situation in Moria refugee camp. There were around 6,000 people in the camp,…
Migrants who arrived yesterday to Greece from Turkey eat bread as they try to warm themselves at the village of Skala Sikaminias, on the Greek island of Lesbos on Friday, March 6, 2020.
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When Abba M. learned that a sexual partner had exposed her to the human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV, she did “a bunch of Googling.” The 21-year-old Alabama resident knew very little about it. Turning to her friends proved…
A billboard by the Alabama Department of Public Health in Eutaw, Greene County, raises awareness of recommended adolescent vaccines, including the HPV vaccine.
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What does it mean to be a human rights voter? Support candidates who want the government to adopt and enforce laws that promote and protect human rights. This means candidates who defend people from abusive systems, officials, individuals, and…
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“Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet,” was how Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), suggested revising the poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty in August when the Trump…
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In late 2018, Sierra Leone's First Lady, Fatima Bio, opened a national campaign "Hands Off Our Girls."   Her campaign made big promises to reduce child marriages and teenage pregnancies in the country, in part to tackle the…
“Angela,” 20, walks with her son near her home after returning from school in Migori county, western Kenya
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Drowned out by the noise of the Rugby World Cup and overshadowed by the deadly devastation wrought by Typhoon Hagibis was a meeting between Japan’s leaders and an alleged war criminal, which went largely unreported by the media and unnoticed by the…
Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese politician, diplomat, author, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1991), meets Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Akasaka Palace in Minato Ward, Tokyo on October 21, 2019. Aung San Suu Kyi comes to Japan to attend an enthronement
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The scars ran deep. His back was a maze of thick welts, thinner scars and parts that resembled small craters. His wrists and ankles were raw from where he’d been shackled and suspended from a ceiling for hours, and his limbs appeared…
Armed forces allied to internationally recognized government fight with armed group in Tripoli, Libya September 22, 2018. © 2018 Hani Amara/Reuters
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It’s still unclear what convinced Mexico’s new president to collaborate with the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy in June of this year. Was it the threat of tariffs, or a genuine desire to crack down on migrants? In any case,…
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In its latest effort to keep asylum seekers from reaching the United States, the Trump administration enacted a new rule on July 16 that effectively bars anyone from seeking asylum in the United States who tries to cross the southern U.…
Demonstrators protest against the detention of asylum seekers at Australian-run offshore detention centers on the island of Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, in Sydney, Australia, August 31, 2017.
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According to the recent UN refugee agency Global Trends report, Brazil received about 80,000 new requests for asylum in 2018,  more than double the  2017 requests. More than three-quarters -- 61,000 —came from Venezuelans. But between…
Weberson Santiago/VEJA
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In Omelas, a fictional town envisioned by the science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin, everyone is happy, but they embrace a paradox; the prosperity of the town is sustained at the expense of the misery of a little girl who is locked underground…
Abdul Kareem, a Rohingya Muslim, carries his mother, Alima Khatoon, to a refugee camp after crossing from Burma into Bangladesh on Sept. 16, 2017.