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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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Mass Accommodations Put People at Risk During Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted risks to asylum seekers living in large-scale, shared accommodations. In Germany, where asylum seekers are obliged by law to live in reception centers while their application is considered, it’s an urgent…
Members of a security service stand in protective gear inside a reception center for asylum seekers in North Rhine-Westphalia where 70 people tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19, May 17, 2020. 
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States Should Allow Rescue Boats to Land, While Protecting Health

(Milan) – European governments’ actions to close their ports to people rescued at sea puts lives at risk and cannot be justified on public health grounds, Human Rights Watch said today. The imperative to protect the right to health in a…
Crew work seen on the Alan Kurdi rescue ship, operated by German charity Sea Eye.
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Following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he wanted “to make the Mediterranean a chance and not a fear.” But does he mean Europeans’ fears of foreigners,…
Migrants are seen onboard the charity ship Lifeline at Boiler Wharf in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta June 27, 2018.
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Last week, the European People's Party (EPP) had a chance to stand up for its values and those of the European Union. But instead, it ducked the issue. The umbrella group of center-right and Christian democrat parties in European…
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban before a photo at the European Union Tallinn Digital Summit in Tallinn, Estonia, September 29, 2017.
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Tough Responses Needed to All Perpetrators

The murder of a 14-year-old girl in Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt, in late May shocked many in Germany. According to police, a 20-year-old man from Iraq, who failed in his bid to claim asylum in Germany, confessed to the crime at the…
Messages of mourning, candles and flowers are placed by people for Susanna F., the teenager who was found dead two days ago, in Wiesbaden-Erbenheim, Germany, June 8, 2018.
News

Platforms Show Variations in Foreign, Migration Policy

(Berlin) –The platforms of the German parties most likely to be elected to the Bundestag differ greatly on protection of human rights in foreign policy and migration and asylum policy, Human Rights Watch said today. “The election…
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Refugees are one of the most debated topics in the campaign before Germany’s election on September 24. The political programs of the seven parties most likely to be elected do all reflect this. According to its party platform, the right-…
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Report
Summary Since 2011, violence in Syria has forcibly displaced at least 1.6 million school-age children to other countries in the region. Before the conflict, more than 90 percent of Syrian children attended primary school and 70 percent…
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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.
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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

Putting Lives at Risk in Kabul

This week, the German government deported to Kabul another 26 rejected Afghan asylum seekers – the second such wave of deportations in as many months. They come home to a city that is both divided and insecure. There is the Kabul of the embassies:…
Protesters hold a placard reading "Afghanistan is not secure" during a demonstration against the deportation of Afghan asylum seekers from Germany back to Afghanistan, at Frankfurt Airport, Germany, December 14, 2016.Afghans, whose asylum applications hav
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
Democracy must be grounded in human rights. To many, that is obvious, but increasingly, we see some in Europe suggesting that democracy is about merely winning elections and then doing whatever the voters are deemed to want.  Democracy, for them, becomes…
Kenneth Roth Headshot
News

Curbing Security Force Abuses, Ensuring Justice Crucial in Ethiopia, Mali

(Berlin) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel should stress the urgent need for key rights reforms during her visits to Mali, Niger, and Ethiopia. Between October 9 and 11, 2016, Chancellor Merkel will meet officials in each country to discuss…
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama during the Valletta Summit on Migration on November 11, 2015.
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