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Struggle to Survive Amid Devastation, Property Destruction

(Beirut) – Syrian refugees who returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan faced grave human rights abuses and persecution at the hands of the Syrian government and affiliated militias, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…
A streetview of destroyed buildings in a city
News

Set Principled Framework for Aid, Protection, Justice

(Brussels) – The European Union-United Nations sponsored aid conference for Syria on March 29-30, 2021, should prioritize a rights-respecting aid framework that advances urgent protection, humanitarian, and accountability needs, Human Rights Watch…
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New Policy Forcibly Returns Thousands, No Due Process

(Beirut) – At least three Syrians deported by Lebanon’s General Security back to Syria have been detained by the authorities upon their return. General Security said it deported 2,731 Syrians between May 21 and August 28, 2019, following its May 13…
Members of the Lebanese General Security Directorate oversee Syrian refugees boarding a bus to take them home to Syria, in the northern Beirut suburb of Burj Hammoud, Lebanon, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. © 2019 AP Photo/Bilal Hussein
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Authorities Detain, Coerce Syrians to Sign “Voluntary Return” Forms

(Beirut) – Turkish authorities are detaining and coercing Syrians into signing forms saying they want to return to Syria and then forcibly returning them there, Human Rights Watch said today. On July 24, 2019, Interior Minister Süleyman…
A wall along the border between Turkey and Syria is seen in Kilis province, Turkey.
News

Enforcement, Transparency, Training Needed to End Corporal Punishment

  (Beirut) – Lebanon’s ban on school staff hitting, verbally abusing, or otherwise inflicting pain on schoolchildren in the name of discipline is often disregarded. The 64-page report…
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Satellite Imagery Reveals Large-Scale Destruction of Buildings

(New York) – Protecting civilians should be a key priority for the US-led coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) makes its last territorial stand in Syria, Human Rights Watch said…
Satellite-analysis of US-led coalition air strike locations in Baghuz (19 January - 20 February 2019)
News

New Arrivals Deported, Coerced Back to Syria

(Istanbul) – Turkish authorities in Istanbul and nine provinces on or near the Syrian border have stopped registering all but a handful of recently arrived Syrian asylum seekers. The suspension is leading to unlawful deportations, coerced returns…
Two Syrians walk along a fence near the Turkish-Syrian border in Gaziantep province, Turkey on November 30, 2016.
News

Dire Conditions for Thousands Fleeing Fighting

(Beirut) – Jordanian and Israeli authorities should allow Syrians fleeing fighting in Daraa governorate to claim asylum and protect them, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 16, 2018, the Syrian-Russian military alliance opened an…
An Internally displaced girl from Daraa province carries a stuffed toy and holds the hand of child near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in Quneitra, Syria June 29, 2018. © 2018 Reuters/Alaa Al-Faqir
News

Expulsions by Municipalities Appear Discriminatory, Lack Due Process

  (Beirut) – At least 13 municipalities in Lebanon have forcibly evicted at least 3,664 Syrian refugees from their homes and expelled them from the municipalities, apparently because of their nationality or religion, while another 42,000…
A clothesline in an informal tent settlement in Bar Elias, Bekaa Governorate, Lebanon. Refugees evicted from the Rayak air base area settled here in January 2018. The refugees say there was no procedure, no written notice, no opportunity to discuss or cha
News

EU Should Raise Issue, Pledge Aid at Conference

(Brussels) – Turkish security forces have routinely intercepted hundreds, and at times thousands, of asylum seekers at the Turkey-Syria border since at least December 2017 and summarily deported them to the war-ravaged Idlib governorate in Syria,…
A Turkish soldier surveys the border line between Turkey and Syria near the city of Kilis, March 2, 2017.
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(Beirut) – Lawless armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) morphed into disastrous trends for the region in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its 2018 World Report. “Failed leadership, failed…
Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 3, 2017, during clashes between Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. © 2017 Getty Images
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Many Countries Call for Law to Keep Human Control

(Geneva) – Countries meeting in Geneva on November 13-24, 2017, missed a chance to move ahead to prevent the development of weapons systems that would select and engage targets without meaningful human control, Human Rights…
As the debate about “killer robots” continues, the threat they pose looms large.
News

Sweden, Germany Take Lead on Justice for Syrians

  (New York) – Efforts to bring those responsible for atrocities in Syria before European courts are starting to bear fruit, notably in Swedish and German courts, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…
Illustration © 2017 Brian Stauffer for Human Rights Watch
News

No Due Process Protection; Risk of Serious Harm

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have been summarily deporting Syrian refugees – including collective expulsions of large families, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Syrians are not being given a meaningful chance to challenge…
Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, seen here in September 2015, has become a symbol of the refugee crisis.
News

Calls for Safe Zones Raise Concerns

(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch today released a question-and-answer document on “safe zones” and the armed conflict in Syria. A number of leaders and governments have suggested that creating safe zones in Syria near the Turkish or other borders could…
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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Open the Door to Legal Status for All Syrian Refugees

(Beirut) – A decision to lift a hefty fee that has prevented many Syrians from maintaining legal status in Lebanon is a positive step, Human Rights Watch said today. Yet the decision appears to exclude a number of the most vulnerable refugees. …
A General Security officer stands by as a Syrian bus driver carries the passports and departure cards of Syrians arriving in Lebanon.
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(New York) – Human Rights Watch has created a dedicated webpage on access to education for Syrian refugee children, whose school year begins this month, in advance of the New York summits on the global refugee and migration crisis. In…
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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I started working to help refugees in 1975 after watching TV images of Vietnamese refugees hanging from the landing skids of helicopters that took off from the roof of the US Embassy in Saigon. As an American, I was acutely aware these refugees…
US Secretary of State Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, and UN Envoy for Syria de Mistura address the media in Vienna.
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Aid, Resettlement, Asylum Procedures Fall Woefully Short

UPDATE: This press release has been updated to reflect the most recent funding figures from both Oxfam International and OCHA for the Russian Federation. (Washington, DC) – Russia’s contribution to meeting the needs of refugees displaced by the…
Syrian refugees line up to receive aid for the winter from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Tripoli, northern Lebanon.