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Government Should Protect Refugees, Not Send People Back to Dangerous Conditions

The Kenyan government has again issued an ultimatum to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide a plan and timeline for closing the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps. Though the government has issued these demands before, its…
Photo: An aerial picture shows a section of the Hagadera camp in Dadaab near the Kenya-Somalia border, May 8, 2015.
News

Ensure Adequate Reception Conditions, Access to Information and Asylum

(Milan) – Spanish authorities should immediately alleviate overcrowded and unsanitary conditions on the Arguineguín pier, Gran Canaria, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, Human Rights Watch said today. Since November 7, 2020, when Human Rights Watch…
Men disembark from a wooden boat at the Arguineguín pier, on Gran Canaria, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, after a dangerous journey in the Atlantic Ocean.
News

Thousands, Including Children, Expelled to Niger Without Due Process

(Beirut) – Algerian authorities expelled thousands of migrants and asylum seekers to Niger during waves of roundups of mostly sub-Saharan Africans across at least nine cities in recent weeks, Human Rights Watch said today. Security personnel have…
Migrants of several nationalities, part of a group of 270 people, arrive from Algeria to Assamaka, Niger, on September 30, 2020. © 2020 IOM Niger
News

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic underlines the urgent need for safety nets for domestic workers.

Few workers have cause to celebrate May 1, International Workers' Day, this year. COVID-19 has been accompanied by another pandemic - of job loss and economic insecurity. Domestic workers, primarily women, have particularly precarious jobs and often do…
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News

Health Risks and International Law Require Safer Alternatives

(Brussels) – People in immigration detention in European countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. “While entire societies learn to live under…
Women in the Ponte Galeria immigration detention center near Rome, Italy May 6, 2017.
News

Italy and Malta’s Move Puts Lives in Danger

After a nerve-wracking stand-off and intense negotiations, 629 people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea by the Aquarius, a rescue ship run by two nongovernmental groups, SOS MEDITERRANEE and MSF, are finally heading towards Spain. Spain’…
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News

Automatic Detention, Obstacles to Seeking Asylum

(Milan) – Asylum seekers and other migrants arriving by sea to Spanish shores are held in poor conditions and face obstacles in applying for asylum. They are held for days in dark, dank cells in police stations and almost certainly will…
A migrant rescued off the Spanish coast arriving at the port in Malaga, southern Spain, December 3, 2016.
News

Transfer Sexual Minorities from Ceuta to Mainland

(Milan) – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) asylum seekers in Spain’s North African enclave, Ceuta, are exposed to harassment and abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. Spanish authorities should transfer them to mainland Spain without…
Double-layer fence around Spain’s north Africa enclave Ceuta, January 2017.
News

Make Concrete Commitments During Summit

(Nairobi) – Kenya should protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. In line with a recent High Court decision, the…
Photo of Somali refugees getting on buses to leave Dadaab refugee camp.
News
Pressure is building on Afghan and Somali refugees to go home, even if they no longer have homes to return to. It is not surprising that this pressure is coming from governments that have been hosting huge numbers of refugees and want…
Member of Greek Red Cross helps an Afghan refugee who has just arrived from Turkey with an inflatable boat in the area of airport of Mytilene, Lesvos Island, Greece.
News

Kenya’s High Court Overturns Government Bid to Send Somali Refugees Back Home

Early this morning, Somali friends in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp that’s home to more than 300,000 people, were celebrating the selection of Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” as the new president of Somalia. Residents in Dadaab have been waiting…
An aerial view shows makeshift shelters at the Dagahaley camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border in Garissa County, Kenya. Photo taken April 2011.
News

Limiting Extension to Six Months Prolongs Confusion, Suffering

This year, widespread attention has focussed on Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, which the Kenyan government threatened to close by late November. But on Wednesday, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for interior announced that the closure will be delayed…
Photo: Refugees stand outside their tent at the Ifo Extension refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border in Garissa County, Kenya, October 19, 2011.
News

Camp Closure Threat Triggers Thousands Returning to Danger

(Nairobi) – Kenya’s repatriation program for Somali refugees, fueled by fear and misinformation, does not meet international standards for voluntary refugee return. Many refugees living in Kenya’s sprawling Dadaab camp, home to at least 263,000 Somalis,…
Photo of Somali refugees getting on buses to leave Dadaab refugee camp.
News
After 25 years of vicious conflict that has cost countless lives and displaced millions of people, peace has finally broken out in south-central Somalia — at least that's what Kenya says. And the UN refugee agency, the United Nations High Commission for…
A newly arrived Somali refugee is forced out of the queue outside a reception centre in the Ifo 2 refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border, in Garissa County, Kenya
News
Hot, dusty wind has constantly passed through the thatch and thorn of Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps since they opened in the early 1990s. In May, however, a new wind created a chill among the estimated 340,000 mostly Somali refugees living here…
Somali refugees look through a barbed wire fence in Dadaab in 2013.
News
Kenya is home to the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, which provides shelter to 360,000 mostly Somali refugees. In May 2016, Kenya’s government disbanded its department responsible for refugees and announced plans to repatriate Somalis and close…
An aerial view shows makeshift shelters at the Dagahaley camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border in Garissa County, Kenya. Photo taken April 2011.
News
Blaming refugees for everything from economic woes to terrorism is becoming a sinister global trend. Now Kenya, home to almost 600,000 refugees – two thirds from Somalia – seems ready to join the bandwagon of European states…
Newly-arrived refugees run away from a cloud of dust at the Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab, near Kenya's border with Somalia in Garissa County, Kenya, July 16, 2011.
News

Ensure Required Protections for Refugees

(Nairobi) – Kenya’s announcement on May 6, 2016 that it would no longer host refugees is contrary to principles it has pledged to respect. Dr. Eng Karanja Kibicho, interior ministry principal secretary, announced that the government would no longer…
Somali women and children fleeing their homes in Nairobi’s predominantly Somali suburb of Eastleigh on November 20, 2012, two days after an attack on a bus by unknown perpetrators caused Kenyan gangs to riot and attack Somali refugees and Somali Kenyans.