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Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
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Inadequate Government Response; Lack of Transparency Put Health at Risk

Update January 28, 2021: On January 27, 2021 the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum’s press office shared by email with media outlets and with Human Rights Watch a 79-page document detailing the results from the soil sample testing conducted in…
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News

Test Soil, Clear Firing Range

(Athens) Thousands of asylum seekers, aid workers, United Nations, and Greek and European Union employees may be at risk of lead poisoning in a new migrant camp that Greek authorities have built on a repurposed military firing range on the island of…
A girl from Syria living in Mavrovouni camp watches the Greek military search for unexploded munitions
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Authorities Should End Discriminatory Restrictions

For many in Greece, life has returned to normal after the government last month lifted lockdown restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19. The country is gradually opening to tourism, and bars, restaurants, and beaches are filled with…
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Rights Court’s Instructions Show Urgent Need for Better Health Care, Conditions

The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened already dire conditions for pregnant people in overcrowded reception centers for migrants and asylum seekers on Greek islands. Highlighting the situation’s urgency, the European Court of Human Rights has ordered…
A child plays in a temporary tent camp near the camp for migrants in Moria, Lesbos which is overcrowded and lacks adequate hygiene facilities and sanitation, putting migrants, including pregnant people, at particular risk amid Covid-19
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Basic Hygiene Not Only for Public Health But a Human Right

Soap, now more than ever, is a central part of our daily lives. But not for many refugees. I’ve been in refugee camps worldwide. This they all have in common: refugees make great efforts to keep clean, but often lack these…
People in the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos wait to use one of the few overcrowded water stations in the camp.
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Mainland Space Shortage Bars Transfer of Vulnerable People

(Brussels) – The already dire conditions in the overcrowded Moria camp for asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesbos may deteriorate into a full-blown humanitarian disaster as winter approaches unless urgent action is taken, Human Rights Watch…
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More than 13,500 asylum seekers remain trapped on the Greek islands in deplorable conditions as winter begins on December 21, 2017. Greece, with support from its European Union partners, should urgently transfer thousands of asylum seekers to the Greek…
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The Stories From People With Disabilities Who Have Endured Humanitarian crises

Simplice – Central African Republic The frustration burned in Simplice Lenguy’s eyes as he spoke about the situation faced by people with disabilities since conflict erupted in the Central African Republic. In…
Ali, a 22-year-old Afghan asylum seeker with a disability, living in Moria camp, on the beach in Lesbos, Greece. He told Human Rights Watch he can’t access showers in the camp and sometimes tries to wash himself in the sea.
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Face Delays, Barriers to Reuniting with Families

  (Athens) – Unnecessary delays and arbitrary barriers are keeping older refugees and asylum seekers stranded in Greece, unable to reunite with family members who have legal status in the European Union, Human Rights…
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A Window of Opportunity For Few Refugees

  This is the second of a two-part commentary on family reunification by Bethany Brown of Human Rights Watch and photojournalist Anna Pantelia that documents a Syrian family’s final days in Greece before heading to Germany to…
Mohammed finally spends time with his children and wife in their new home in Germany. © 2017 Anna Pantelia
News
  This is the first of a two-part commentary on family reunification by Bethany Brown of Human Rights Watch and photojournalist Anna Pantelia that documents a Syrian family’s final days in Greece before heading to Germany to…
On Boxing Day in the Osanas’ house in Greece, Dominique called Falak’s husband, Mohammed, on Skype and introduced his family. © 2017 Anna Pantelia
News

Greece, EU States Need to do Better to Reunite Families

Fatima, 62 years old, fled persecution and the destruction of her city of Aleppo, Syria, with the dream of reuniting with her daughter and grandchildren in Germany. She survived the treacherous journey to Greece, but border restrictions in the Western…
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EU, Greek Authorities Should Urgently Address Needs

(Athens) –Thousands of asylum seekers and migrants at the Athens port of Piraeus face appalling conditions as the crisis for people trapped in Greece due to border closures intensifies, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Asylum seekers and migrants at a makeshift camp at the port of Piraeus, queuing for distribution of survival kits by the Hellenic Red Cross. In the absence of any visible government support or personnel the day to day operation of the camp is dependent on
News
“Who has AIDS, who has AIDS? Is it you?” That’s what a police officer shouted to an outreach worker during a stop-and-search I witnessed in downtown Athens, in May 2014. It was my first night out with a team of outreach workers from Athens Checkpoint, an…
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Target the Homeless, Drug Users, Sex Workers in Athens

(Athens) – Police in Athens frequently harass and abuse homeless people, people who use drugs, and sex workers, Human Rights Watch said today. Police stops and arbitrary detention of people who live or spend considerable amounts of time on the streets of…
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“I haven’t felt greater shame than when they caught us.” That’s what Georgia told me as she recalled the moment in April 2012 that police detained her and dozens of other women alleged to be sex workers and forced them to take HIV tests. Those found to be…
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One Year On, Governments Should Commit to Action

(New York) – Governments should make an urgent commitment to protect people from the harmful effects of mercury by signing and ratifying the new Minamata Convention on Mercury, Human Rights Watch said today, on the eve of a high-level UN event about the…
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Ministers Should Endorse, Implement Minamata Convention

(Geneva) – Health ministers should pledge to take comprehensive action to prevent and treat the negative health effects of mercury, a toxic chemical, Human Rights Watch said today. The World Health Assembly is scheduled to discuss a resolution on the new…