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When Pricila, a 32-year-old trans woman, fled El Salvador in February 2019, she had good reason to fear for her life. Police had beaten and sexually assaulted her, telling her they would make her a man. Gang members attempted to forcibly recruit her.…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
Report
Summary Camila Díaz Córdova, a 29-year-old transgender woman, tried for years to escape the violence that had characterized her life in El Salvador. She made her way to the United States in 2017 to seek asylum, but after four months in immigration…
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The Trump administration has proposed a new federal regulation that would create insurmountable barriers to the vast majority of asylum claims, including by gutting the definition of refugee to the point where lesbian, gay, bisexual and…
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Proposed Secure and Protect Act Attempts to Block Asylum Claims

If you follow the twisted logic of Senator Lindsey Graham’s Secure and Protect Act to its ultimate conclusion, the US would all but shut its doors to Central American refugees – full stop. A vote on the bill in the US Senate Committee…
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Human Rights Watch Files Amicus Brief Before Constitutional Court

(Washington, DC) – The Constitutional Court of Ecuador should uphold the rights of Venezuelans who have fled to Ecuador, Human Rights Watch said in an amicus brief filed before the court today. The court is scheduled to hold a hearing…
Venezuelans who do not have passports walk on the Pan American Highway after crossing the Rumichaca International Bridge from Colombia, before reaching another migration check-point, in Rumichaca, Ecuador, Sunday, August 19, 2018.
News
The people in the Central American caravan making their way to the US border with Mexico are facing real life-and-death issues that need to be addressed. What they don’t need is to be overshadowed by posturing and threats, particularly from the…
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Gangs Threaten Children, Parents

Maria* and Carlos* never wanted to leave Honduras with their three children, they told me. But then gangs began threatening Carlos and their 13-year-old son Eddy*. The family moved houses, but one evening masked men came to their little…
A Honduran mother and her 3-year-old daughter wait with fellow asylum seekers on the Mexican side of the Brownsville-Matamoros International Bridge after being denied entry by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers near Brownsville, Texas, U.S., June
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Major Obstacles for Central American Asylum Seekers

  Mexico City – Central American children fleeing serious threats face formidable obstacles in applying for asylum in Mexico, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 151-page report, “Closed Doors: Mexico’s Failure…
A 12-year-old Salvadoran boy rests as he waits to be deported, at the National Immigration Institute, in Comitan, Chiapas, Mexico on August 19, 2010. ©2010 Jose Cabezas/AFP/Getty Images
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Central American children fleeing serious threats face formidable obstacles in applying for asylum in Mexico. There are wide discrepancies between Mexican law and practise. By law, Mexico offers protection to those who face risks to their lives or safety…
News
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: We have arrived at a peak season for migration to the United States. It's springtime, and both the weather and the economy make it advantageous for many people to cross the border from Mexico. That means we should know soon if the U.…
Report
“You Don’t Have Rights Here” US Border Screening and Returns of Central Americans to Risk of Serious Harm Summary Methodology…
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Serious Flaws in Border Screening of Fleeing Central Americans

(San Pedro Sula) – The US government’s rapid-fire screening of unauthorized migrants at the border is sending Central Americans back to the risk of serious harm, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  The 44-page report, “‘You Don…
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To the Editor: “Obama Approves Plan to Let Children Apply for Refugee Status in Central America” (news article, Oct. 1) reports that human rights advocates have praised the idea of in-country refugee processing. Count us out. The Obama administration’s in…
News
The humanitarian crisis of undocumented Central American children may have faded from the headlines, but the problem has not gone away—not least because Congress failed to pass a bill addressing the issue before it left for the August recess. Both…
News

Convictions of Lawmaker, Union Members Undermine Free Speech

(Washington, D.C.) – Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa should end the use of criminal defamation laws to target his critics, Human Rights Watch said today. The prosecution and convictions of the opposition legislator José Cléver Jiménez Cabrera and two…
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Ricardo Patiño Foreign Affairs Ministry Ecuador   Washington, D.C., July 22, 2013   Dear Mr. Patiño, We are writing in response to the public statement issued by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Ecuador on June 20, 2013,[1]regarding a letter we had sent…
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Communications Law Opens the Door to Censorship, Prosecuting Journalists

(Washington, DC) – The Communications Law that the Ecuadorian National Assembly approved on June 14, 2013, seriously undermines free speech. The law includes overly broad language that will limit the free expression of journalists and media outlets. The…