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Returns to Abusive Migrant Detention Centers Put Lives at Risk

Three young people are facing terrorism charges in Malta for refusing to be returned to almost certain detention and abuse in Libya. The “El Hiblu 3,” as they are known, appeared in a preliminary court hearing in Valetta on July 30; their trial is yet…
Migrants on a Libyan Coast Guard boat in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, January 15, 2018.
News

End Arbitrary Detention on Tourist Ferry Boats

Update: As of May 28, Malta was detaining 425 people on four tourist cruise boats just outside its territorial waters. (Milan) – The Maltese government should immediately allow more than 160 people detained on two private tourism vessels just off…
The Europa II, a tourist ferry sets sail from Marsamxett Harbour, Valletta, Malta.
News
A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
News
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.
News

Entitled to Consultation on Communal Ownership

  (Washington, DC) – A draft law before the Antigua and Barbuda Senate would deprive Barbudans of communal land where they have lived for generations, Human Rights Watch said today. The Antigua and Barbuda government should consult with the…
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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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Report
Summary Every day I fear for my safety living in this country because of my sexual orientation. I am alive but if anyone ever find out and wanted to find out, they can kill me …I am an easy target for anything. —Peter, Dominica,…
News

Repeal Colonial-Era Laws

(Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018) – Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people targets for discrimination, violence and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
Jason (pseudonym), a 40-year-old gay man from Barbados.
News
At first glance, 2017 seems to have been a good year for marriage equality the world over. But the year ends on a negative note. Let’s start in Europe. In Germany and Malta, two European Union member states, legislation came…
Same-sex couple get married at a registry office in Germany.
News
Canada’s Supreme Court on June 28, 2017 upheld a lower court’s injunction to require Google to delist web pages from a company that had been copying and selling a product belonging to Equustek Solutions Inc.. Google had already delisted all the company’s…
News
Malta used to be known as a very conservative country, where social opinion, reflected in politics and policies, was heavily influenced by the Roman Catholic Church. Divorce was outlawed, abortion was—and remains— criminalized in all cases, and the law…
Boris Dittrich, Human Rights Watch LGBT Rights Advocacy Director, with Monsignor Scicluna, Archbishop of Malta, June 9, 2017.
News
As uncomfortable and politically sensitive as it may be, the road to ending AIDS in the United States runs through the criminal justice system. The groups at highest risk for HIV are those most entangled with the criminal justice system. Sex workers, men…
News
Joanne Cassar got married in a small town in eastern Malta last night, capping a 9-year battle to win that right as a transgender woman in the deeply Catholic country. Today, Joanne and others in the Mediterranean nation had even more to celebrate as the…
News
During a rally on Sunday, March 30, for Malta’s Freedom Day, which marks the country’s independence from British rule, Malta’s prime minister made a significant pledge: he committed to end the detention of migrant children. Malta — a key entrance point…
News

Statement Delivered Under Item 6

Human Rights Watch welcomes the Universal Periodic Review of Malta which addressed a range of concerns, including immigration, rescue at sea, and detention of asylum seekers and children. Automatic Immigration Detention Without Adequate Safeguards Human…
News
Thanks to a ruling on December 13 from the European Court of Human Rights, thousands of migrants and asylum seekers arbitrarily detained in Malta each year may finally have a way to challenge their imprisonment. Growing numbers of migrants and asylum…
News

Oped on cnn.com

This week kicks off one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Millions will set out for Thanksgiving, a holiday that celebrates how refugees from religious persecution found freedom in a new land. I’ll be one of those traveling. And while I’m looking…
News
The list of those condemning Malta’s automatic detention of migrants and asylum seekers, including children, keeps growing and growing. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Council of Europe’s Commission against Racism and Intolerance and…