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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…
News
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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News
Donald Trump's administration proposed a cold-blooded new, 161-page asylum regulation last week. It would limit those eligible to qualify for asylum in the United States and circumvent America's legal obligations - under US and international law - to…
Aslyum seekers hold bags from the Department of Homeland Security
News

Agreement Denies Hondurans, Salvadorans Effective Protection

(Washington, DC) – An agreement between the United States and Guatemala effectively compels Salvadoran and Honduran asylum seekers to abandon their claims, Refugees International and Human Rights Watch said today. The joint report by Refugees…
Aslyum seekers hold bags from the Department of Homeland Security
Report
  Summary An agreement between the United States and Guatemala, the US-Guatemala Asylum Cooperative Agreement (ACA), enables the United States to rapidly expel non-Guatemalan asylum seekers to Guatemala without allowing them to lodge asylum…
News

Refugees, Health Care, and Criminal Justice Top Agenda

(Sydney) – Australia’s sweeping national security laws and police actions against journalists and whistleblowers are having a chilling effect on freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020. Refugee…
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News

Legislation Would Effectively End Asylum at Southern Border

(Washington, DC) – The United States Senate Judiciary Committee on August 1, 2019, forwarded a bill to the full Senate that would all but shut US doors to Central American refugees, Human Rights Watch said today. The Secure and Protect…
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News
In its latest effort to keep asylum seekers from reaching the United States, the Trump administration enacted a new rule on July 16 that effectively bars anyone from seeking asylum in the United States who tries to cross the southern U.…
Demonstrators protest against the detention of asylum seekers at Australian-run offshore detention centers on the island of Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, in Sydney, Australia, August 31, 2017.
News

Re: Protecting Human Rights in Australia’s Foreign Policy

Dear Minister Payne, Congratulations on your reappointment as foreign minister. Human Rights Watch looks forward to working with you to make protection of human rights a strong pillar of Australia’s foreign policy. We attach a…
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News

Plan is a Recipe for Abuse

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced that the country would send 6,000 National Guard troops to the country’s southern border to contain irregular migration from Central American countries like Guatemala and Honduras. Mexico’s long…
Mexican authorities stop a migrant caravan that had earlier crossed the Mexico - Guatemala border, near Metapa, Chiapas state, Mexico, Wednesday, June 5, 2019.
News
Although mounting political pressure has compelled the Australian government to remove most children from Nauru, refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia continue to face significant risks to their physical and mental health.   …
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Video
A new video from Human Rights Watch highlights ongoing abuses ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Australian government’s reintroduction of its offshore processing and settlement policy. Under this policy, people seeking asylum who travel by boat are…
News

Fifth Anniversary of Refugees Suffering on Manus, Nauru Islands

(Sydney) –A new video from Human Rights Watch highlights ongoing abuses ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Australian government’s reintroduction of its offshore processing and settlement policy. Under this policy, people seeking…
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News

UN Expert Body Calls for Regional Processing Centers to Close

This week, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights reviewed Australia’s asylum policy. Once again, Australia’s officials were both disingenuous and unconvincing in their appearance before the committee, which monitors state…
A protester from the Refugee Action Coalition holds a placard during a demonstration outside the offices of the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Sydney, Australia, April 29, 2016.
News

Guatemala’s Red Tape Stops Physicians From Prescribing Pain Medication

Dr. Eva Duarte has spent more than a decade helping people with advanced cancer through their final months. Even now she cries as she recalls how some of her patients spent their last days. “There was a man, Carlos, I will never…
Dr. Eva Duarte writing prescriptions for her patients
Video
Thousands of patients with advanced illnesses in Guatemala suffer unnecessarily from severe pain because they cannot get appropriate pain medications. Guatemala’s drug control regulations – meant to prevent drug abuse – make it almost impossible for many…