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Action Puts Lives at Risk, Defies Court Order

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government should urgently investigate the Immigration Department’s return of 1,086 Myanmar nationals to Myanmar in defiance of a court order, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 23, 2021, the Malaysian High Court…
Image taken from a video of an immigration truck with security guards and unidentified people on the road to Lumut Naval Base on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 in Lumut, Malaysia. 
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Returned Nationals Would Face Oppressive Military Rule

(Kuala Lumpur) – The Malaysian government should halt plans to return 1,200 Myanmar nationals to Myanmar, Fortify Rights and Human Rights Watch said today. The government has agreed to hand over the nationals, all currently in Malaysian custody, to…
Undocumented migrants are detained during a crackdown by the Immigration Department in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, May 20, 2020.
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Immunity, Police Powers for Military Raise Risk of Abuse

(Bangkok) – Malaysia’s recently announced Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance is overly broad and should urgently be revised to meet international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The ordinance, announced on January 14,…
Perdana Menteri Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin berbicara dalam sebuah konferensi pers setelah pertemuan kabinet pertama di kantor perdana menteri di Putrajaya, Malaysia, 11 Maret 2020.
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Release Children; Allow UN Refugee Agency Access to Detained Migrants

(Bangkok) – Malaysia should immediately release all children held in immigration detention facilities and allow the United Nations refugee agency regular access to those facilities, Human Rights Watch said today. Malaysia’s Home Ministry…
Police officers detain an immigrant from an apartment under enhanced lockdown in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 1, 2020. © 2020 REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng
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Jailing, Caning Refugees Violates International Law

(Bangkok) – Malaysian authorities should stop prosecuting Rohingya refugees for illegal entry and ensure that they are protected in accordance with international law, Human Rights Watch said today. At least 40 ethnic Rohingya who were picked up…
A boat carries Rohingya refugees off the coast of Langkawi, Malaysia, April 5, 2020.
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Protect Asylum Seekers, Press Myanmar to End Persecution

(Bangkok) – Southeast Asian leaders should urgently adopt concrete plans for addressing the crisis facing ethnic Rohingya in Myanmar and abroad, Human Rights Watch said today. Leaders of the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (…
Local fishermen help Rohingya asylum seekers as they arrive in North Aceh, Indonesia, June 25, 2020.
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End Pushbacks, Grant Access to Aid and Asylum

(Bangkok) – Malaysia and Thailand should urgently rescue Rohingya refugees stranded at sea and provide them with assistance and access to asylum, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 8, 2020, Malaysian authorities detained 269 Rohingya refugees who…
A boat carries Rohingya refugees off the coast of Langkawi, Malaysia, April 5, 2020.
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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…
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African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.
Report
Summary When the head teacher found out that I was pregnant, he called me to his office and told me, “You have to leave our school immediately because you are pregnant.” —Jamida K., Kahama, Tanzania, April 2014 We don’t allow pregnant girls to…
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Children across New Zealand are back in school for the new academic year, and many will be looking forward to studying, playing sport, and maybe singing in the school choir. This isn't the case for many children around the world who are denied…
Children sent to Nauru by Australia for “offshore processing,” August 2016. Parents and children reported that students from families of refugees and asylum seekers are frequently bullied by Nauruan students.
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Men Try to Avoid Rape Charges Through Forced Child Marriage

Survivors of rape often say they are left with devastating, sometimes lifelong, trauma. One woman who was sexually assaulted in Iraq described her feelings this way: “I have no past and no future at the moment. I am stuck in my anger and…
A woman walks past birdcages after she crossed the border from Malaysia into Thailand in Sungai Kolok in southern Narathiwat province March 8, 2013.
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This month, Malaysia’s lower house amended the country’s Child Act 2001 without banning all marriage by girls and boys under the age of 18, as called for by several members of parliament and rights groups. Absent from the debate was any…
Malaysia
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Denial of Rights in Burma, Bangladesh Lead to Trafficking and Dangerous Sea Voyages

(Bangkok) – Rohingya and other survivors of dangerous boat voyages from Burma and Bangladesh describe horrific treatment by unscrupulous smugglers and traffickers in Burma, and abuse and neglect aboard ships, Human Rights Watch said today. A regional…
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When Abid was five, immigration officials arrested him and his family, Pakistani refugees fleeing religious persecution. The officials took them to the squalid immigration detention centre in central Bangkok. There, they joined hundreds of other refugees…
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Eliminate Discriminatory Laws, Practices; End Violence

(Kuala Lumpur) – The Malaysian government should urgently seek the repeal of all laws and regulations that discriminate against transgender people, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Transgender people in Malaysia face criminal…
Report
A Note on Gender Identity This report addresses human rights abuses faced by transgender people in Malaysia. “Transgender” is an inclusive term for anyone whose sex assigned to them at birth—i.e., the designation as “female” or…
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Further Labor Reforms Needed to Stop Abuses, Meet Global Standards

(New York) – The decision by Singapore’s Manpower Ministry to grant foreign domestic workers a weekly rest day is an important reform but falls short of international standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The changes, announced on March 5, 2012, go…