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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.
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Summary Over the past two decades, women and girls in Indonesia have faced unprecedented legal and social demands to wear clothing deemed Islamic as part of broader efforts to impose the rules of Sharia, or Islamic law, in many parts of the country.…
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(Jakarta, March 18, 2021) – Dress codes for women and girls in Indonesia discriminate against students, civil servants, and visitors to government offices and should be revoked, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should…
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  “Evelina” (not her real name), 17, looks immaculate in her pressed white-and-blue school uniform and her neatly divided cornrows, as she futilely tries to escape the sweltering heat of western Kenya beneath a shady tree. Her black leather shoes…
“Evelina,” 17, with her 3-year-old daughter “Hope,” in Migori county, western Kenya. Evelina is in Form 2, the second year of lower secondary school.
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On May 14, the Kenyan justice system failed women miserably. The Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Kenya, petitioned the High Court, challenging the provisions of section 7 of the Matrimonial Property Act, 2013. The section makes ownership of…
Two widows in eastern Zimbabwe, facing harassment from in-laws who are trying to force them to vacate their homes and fields. Rural Eastern Zimbabwe, October 2016.
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Hold Violators to Account, Abolish 'Virginity Tests'

(New York) – The Indonesian military should deter abuses by its personnel and hold human rights violators accountable, Human Rights Watch said in a letter made public today to the new Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) commander, Marshal…
Indonesian President Joko Widodo attaches the rank to the new Armed Forces Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto during an inauguration ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, December 8, 2017
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Military, Police Claim Discriminatory Practice is for ‘Morality Reasons’

(Jakarta) – Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo should order Indonesia’s police chief and armed forces commander to immediately ban so-called “virginity tests” of female applicants, Human Rights Watch said today. By ending the practice, the…
201711Asia_Indonesia_VirginityTest Members of the Indonesian Air Force parade during celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the Air Force at Halim Perdanakusuma air base in Jakarta, Indonesia on April 9, 2016.
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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.
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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
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

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.
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Emily, a widow from rural western Kenya, lived and farmed on her husband’s land for more than 30 years. While her husband was alive, they lived comfortably, and her four children were happy in school. This ended abruptly when her husband died, and her in-…
Female farmers resettled to Mwaladzi received land with poor access to water and limited productivity. The compensation package also included a new house.
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Across the world, unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers and migrants are turning to boat smugglers and risking or losing their lives in the world's oceans. So far this year at least 1,800 people have drowned in the Mediterranean. Instead of mustering…
Gerry Simpson - Expert
News

Demand End of Abuses in Burma, Access for Refugee Protection

(Bangkok) – Governments gathering in Bangkok on May 29, 2015, to discuss the Southeast Asia boat people crisis should reach binding agreements to save people at sea, permit them to disembark without conditions, and ensure unimpeded access for United…
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359 Deported Without Access to Lawyers, Courts, UN Refugee Agency

The Kenyan authorities have deported 359 Somalis, including at least three registered refugees, since the start of their security crackdown in early April 2014, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have not allowed any to challenge their removal…
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Thousands Arrested, Almost 100 Deported

Kenyan police and other security agencies should stop arbitrary arrests and detentions, extortion, and other abuses against Somalis during security operations,  Human Rights Watch said today. The government should also halt summary deportations and ensure…