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Macron Should Address Rights Abuses in Gulf Region

This week, French President Emmanuel Macron will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with a large delegation of French ministers and major business executives. In the UAE, he will apparently be finalizing a weapons deal, when…
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RE: Challenges to Implementation of GCM Objectives #4, 10, 13, 15, 17, 21 in Cameroon, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania, December 2018 – June 2021

Contents: I. Introduction II. Human trafficking (Nigeria, Senegal) III. Migrant detention (Mauritania, South Africa) IV. Migrant returns (Cameroon, Mauritania, Tanzania) V. Discrimination, xenophobia, access to services and documentation (South…
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Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with…
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Abusive Elements Remain; Changes Exclude Domestic Workers

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia introduced labor reforms in March 2021 that will ease restrictions and allow some migrant workers to change jobs without employer consent under certain narrow circumstances, Human Rights Watch said today. The reforms,…
Foreign laborers work on the construction of new luxury houses in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, April 2019.
News

Thousands of Migrants to be Freed After Being Held in Abysmal Conditions

Hundreds of migrants, mostly from Ethiopia, held in appalling conditions in Saudi detention centers will be released and returned home. In December, Human Rights Watch research found that the workers were subjected to ill-treatment and deplorable…
Ethiopian migrants arrive back in Ethiopia after months in Saudi detention camps
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Ongoing Repression, Absence of Civil Society Impede Progress

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia recently announced a series of important and necessary reforms, but ongoing repression and a lack of respect for basic rights are major barriers to progress, Human Rights Watch said today. The repression of independent civil…
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on a large billboard in London, England.
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Forthcoming Kafala Reforms Overlook Vulnerable Domestic Workers

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia should put in place labor and immigration reforms to protect domestic workers, including personal drivers, Human Rights Watch said today. New Human Rights Watch research highlights that domestic workers remain the least…
Foreign laborers work on the construction of new luxury houses in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, April 2019.
News

Detained Migrants Allege Torture, Killing in Detention, Fears of Covid-19

(Beirut) – A deportation center in Riyadh is holding hundreds of mostly Ethiopian migrant workers in conditions so degrading that they amount to ill-treatment, Human Rights Watch said today. Detainees alleged to Human Rights Watch that they are held…
Migrants held in Saudi security complex
News

Migrant Workers Face Abuse and Exploitation

There are reports this week that Saudi authorities are seeking to abolish the notorious kafala (sponsorship) system in 2021. Under that system, some 10 million migrant workers’ legal status are tied to their employer—facilitating abuse and…
Trapped in Employer's home
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A Case-Study on the Treatment of Ethiopian Migrants

*From the IDC report Covid-19 Impacts on Immigration Detention: Global Responses* Saudi Arabia introduced measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 beginning in March 2020, including suspending religious pilgrimages and halting international and…
News

Saudis Fire on Survivors, Detain Hundreds in Appalling Conditions

(Beirut) – Houthi forces in April 2020 forcibly expelled thousands of Ethiopian migrants from northern Yemen using Covid-19 as a pretext, killing dozens and forcing them to the Saudi border, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi border guards then…
Hundreds of Ethiopian migrants detained in unsanitary and abusive conditions at the Jizan immigration detention facility in Jizan City, Saudi Arabia, after being forcibly expelled from Yemen, April 2020. © 2020 private
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Promising Commitments; Proper Implementation, Additional Measures Needed

  (Beirut) – Saudi authorities should ensure that migrant workers receive adequate protection during the Covid-19 pandemic, a coalition of 16 nongovernmental organizations and trade unions said on April 10, 2020 in a letter to the…
Logos of civil society organizations and trade unions.
News

Unwarranted Amid Health Risks, Global Travel Restrictions

    (Beirut) – People in immigration detention in Gulf countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid health risks and global travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Human…
A worker rests at his accommodation in Qadisiya labor camp, Saudi Arabia August 17, 2016.
News

Trafficking, Exploitation, Torture, Abusive Prison Conditions

(Addis Ababa) – Ethiopians undertaking the perilous journey by boat across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden face exploitation and torture in Yemen by a network of trafficking groups, Human Rights Watch said today. They also encounter abusive prison…
African migrants receive food and water inside a football stadium in the Red Sea port city of Aden in Yemen, on April 23, 2019. © AFP/Getty Images
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Re: Protecting Human Rights in Australia’s Foreign Policy

Dear Minister Payne, Congratulations on your reappointment as foreign minister. Human Rights Watch looks forward to working with you to make protection of human rights a strong pillar of Australia’s foreign policy. We attach a…
201906asia_australia_marise_payne
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My mobile phone vibrating next to my head far too early on a Sunday morning was the first indication someone was in trouble. Even in an organization such as Human Rights Watch, that spans time zones across the globe, people don’t usually call at that hour…
201901middleeast_saudi_rahaf
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French Arms Sales to Coalition Raise Complicity Concerns

(Paris) – President Emmanuel Macron of France should raise serious concerns with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince regarding laws-of-war violations in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan of the United Arab…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Faj Attan, a densely populated neighborhood in Sanaa, on August 25, 2017. Two of the buildings were completely destroyed and the third suffered extensive damage. Saudi-led coalition aircraft
News

Anyone Returned to Yemen Faces Threats to Life, Safety

(Washington, DC) – The United States government should renew its grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Yemenis living in the US, Human Rights Watch said today. Anyone forcibly returned to Yemen faces serious risks to their…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Faj Attan, a densely populated neighborhood in Sanaa, on August 25, 2017. Two of the buildings were completely destroyed and the third suffered extensive damage. Saudi-led coalition aircraft
News

Poor Record of Coalition and Houthi Indiscriminate Attacks and Aid Restrictions

(Beirut) – All parties to the conflict in Yemen should minimize civilian harm during military operations against the western port city of Hodeida, Human Rights Watch said today. The Saudi-led coalition, backed by the United States, and…
Imports sit destroyed in a damaged warehouse at the port in Hodeida city, Yemen. © November 2016 Kristine Beckerle / Human Rights Watch