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But the International Community Should Do Much More to Ensure that the Refugees Can Safely Return to Myanmar

In late May, thousands of Rohingya refugees whom Bangladesh authorities had relocated to remote Bhasan Char island broke out of their shelters during a visit by United Nations representatives. “We don’t want to live here,” they chanted.…
A man climbs through barbed wire fencing at a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, as a massive fire swept through the camps on March 22, 2021.
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“Azida” is a 12-year-old girl, born in Myanmar, but now growing up in neighboring Bangladesh. Forced out of her home at age 10 by a military campaign of ethnic cleansing, she now lives in the sprawling Cox’s Bazar refugee camps on the southern…
Posters inside a “learning center”
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Although mounting political pressure has compelled the Australian government to remove most children from Nauru, refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia continue to face significant risks to their physical and mental health.   …
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The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
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Schools should be safe places for children — even during wartime.

On an autumn afternoon in 1993, following heavy artillery fire, my older sister Edina gave me a backpack and rushed me through deserted streets to a local school in Visoko, a town 30 kilometers outside of Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, where we lived with…
Damaged school in Nikishine. Rebel fighters deployed inside the school between September 2014 and February 2015 and exchanged intense fire with Ukrainian forces. © 2015 Yulia Gorbunova/Human Rights Watch
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It’s no surprise that US President Donald Trump would suggest rethinking the refugee deal the Australian government struck with the Obama administration in November. It may indeed go ahead—although the president criticized it, his press secretary said on…
Held by Australia on Nauru for three years, a refugee girl chooses freedom as what she most needs, August 2016.
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Casting about for ways to manage refugee flows, some European policymakers speak of emulating Australia’s use of offshore processing centers in neighboring countries. But Australia’s approach to asylum seekers is fiscally irresponsible, morally bankrupt,…
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Alexander Van der Bellen, who campaigned on moderation and tolerance, won Austria’s presidential election. But in the search for explanations as to how the country came close to electing a far-right populist as its president, some have suggested that…
Australia cartoon
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On February 3, the High Court of Australia ruled that the country’s offshore processing arrangements with Nauru are authorised under Australian law - but the court did not consider whether the policy comports with international law. …
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I have spent more than a decade documenting the use of child soldiers in Myanmar, and have interviewed boys who were only 11 when they were forced to join the army. Initially, Myanmar's government flatly denied any use of children by its army, despite…
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'We kept climbing higher and higher as the boat was sinking,'' Arif B. told me, describing how he spent three nights clinging to a sinking boat as he tried to reach Australia. Many of his fellow passengers died, he said.   Arif was only 15 when he fled…
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The New International Convention on the Highly Toxic Metal Mercury Could, Despite Some Flaws, Be a Huge Step Forward in Protecting the Right to Health This weekend, more than 140 governments agreed on the text for a new legally binding convention on…
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Accepted under the "Addressing Inequalities" Global Thematic Consultation - Call for Proposals for Background Papers, 2012

Human Rights Watch is actively reporting on this topic and an updated version of this article can be found here: Breaking the Poverty Trap - Why Poverty and Inequality are Human Rights Issues To learn about Human Rights Watch’s continuing work on…
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After years of seemingly never-ending conflict and repression, Burma's neighbours and the world are watching the changes there with interest and cautious optimism. And for the 140,000 Burma refugees in Thailand, many stuck in camps on the border for…
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The State Department’s new list of governments using child soldiers is out. Seven countries are named this year. The list is not that surprising: It includes the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma and South Sudan, which have deployed child soldiers for…
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Papua New Guinea has made the international news again with a horrific story to reinforce stereotypes about the country: sorcery, sex, and fire. On January 6, a group of men reportedly stripped a woman naked, bound her hands and feet, stuffed a cloth in…
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Myin Win was 11 years old when he was first recruited into Burma's national army. He was picked up by soldiers while selling vegetables at a railway station and sent to a military training camp. He weighed only 70 pounds, or about 32 kilograms, and said…
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In a small Myanmarese army border outpost in Shan State, a sign in English and Myanmarese points into Thailand's thriving tourist town of Doi Ang Khan: "We Are Able." It's probably not much comfort to the soldiers walking around barefoot, enclosed by…