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Summary One of the [border] officers said to me : “Canada is a free country for Canadians, not for foreigners.” He seemed very happy to tell me: “You’re going to sleep in jail tonight.” The other officers were laughing about this.… Immigration…
News

NATO Members, Australia Should Expedite Relocation of Local Staff

(Washington, DC) – Countries with troops departing Afghanistan should accelerate programs to resettle former Afghan interpreters and other employees who are increasingly at risk from Taliban forces, Human Rights Watch said today. The planned…
Former Afghan interpreters hold placards during a protest against the U.S. government and NATO in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 30, 2021.
News

One of Many Countries Waking Up to the Dangers of Chlorpyrifos

Last week, the Canadian government quietly released a three-year plan to phase out use of the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos. As Human Rights Watch has reported, the health risks associated with exposure to chlorpyrifos are well-documented. These…
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News

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.
Report
Summary Joseph Koostachin, 58, remembers when he and his wife Helen, 56, went out on the land to hunt and berry pick with their young children. In the summer, the forests and meadows were lush and the water in the rivers plentiful. The winters were…
News

Government Response Inadequate as Emissions Rise

Climate change is taking a growing toll on First Nations in Canada, depleting food sources and affecting health. Canada is contributing to the climate crisis, which acutely affects Indigenous peoples who live off the land. Canada should…
A man stands in a snowy landscape
News

Some Released, Remainder Face Serious Risks from COVID-19

On April 1, Canadian authorities released several detainees from the Laval Immigration Holding Centre in Quebec. Some had gone on hunger strike to protest the lack of protection from COVID-19 in detention facilities. “We felt abandoned…
People wait in a temporary detention center in Blackpool, Quebec, August 5, 2017.
News

On World Water Day, Marginalized Populations Still Lack Access to Basic Hygiene Measures

  Today is World Water Day, but as the world braces for the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is little to celebrate. The need for good hygiene like handwashing is key to protecting public health and responding to the virus.…
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Report
Objective of this Guide Many First Nations persons are facing daily challenges just to access safe water for drinking and hygiene—a fundamental human right easily enjoyed by most Canadians. In 2016, Human Rights Watch released a report on First…
News

New Tools for Communities to Renew Push for Rights

(Toronto) – Canada’s new government should make addressing the lack of safe drinking water in many First Nations communities in Canada an urgent priority, Chiefs of Ontario and Human Rights Watch said today. Despite some progress over the last four…
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News
Canadians across the country welcomed the news last week that Vanessa Rodel and her young daughter, Keana, had finally found shelter in Montreal. They are two of “Snowden’s angels,” asylum-seekers whose kindness in sheltering the…
Asylum seekers, from left: Ajith Pushpa Kumara, Vanessa Mae Rodel and her daughter Keana, Nadeeka Dilrukshi Nonis and her son Dinath and daughter Sethmundi Kellapatha, and Supun Thilina Kellapatha, pose outside the building of Hong Kong's immigration depa
News
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…
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News
It’s been 15 years since Ajith Debagama Kankanalamage, fled Sri Lanka after a decade of torture and sexual abuse by the military.  He thought he was headed to Canada, but he was abandoned by brokers without his passport or money in Hong…
Two mothers hold their children in their arms as they wait outside the immigration department's building in Hong Kong, China.
News

New Strategy Seeks to End Impunity for Atrocity Crimes

The Canadian government is stepping up the call for justice for Myanmar’s embattled ethnic Rohingya population. On Wednesday, the government announced a series of measures to respond to the Rohingya crisis including…
Refugees are seen at the Cox's Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh, near Rakhine state, Myanmar, during a trip by United Nations envoys to the region April 29, 2018. Picture taken on April 29, 2018.
News

UN Pollution Meeting Should Embrace Child Rights in its Resolutions

Bhopal, Chernobyl, and Minamata – these environmental disasters shocked the world. Yet, pollution results not only from catastrophic accidents but also from years of silent exposure. Children’s developing bodies are particularly…
“My name is Amina and I am twenty years old. I grew up here in the town of Bagega. I had six children. Three have died. Each time one died, I was so distraught and I was very traumatized.” Amina, Bagega, Zamfara state, Nigeria, 2011.
News

Hong Kong Threatens to Deport Families Who Aided US Whistle-Blower

(New York) – The Canadian government should fast-track its consideration of the refugee claims of seven people who sheltered US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden before he left Hong Kong in 2013. The Hong Kong…
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.