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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
News

US Barriers to Asylum Block Path to Safety

(Washington, DC) – The governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have failed to effectively address violence and entrenched discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, leading many to seek asylum in the…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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
Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record has regretably deterioriated since its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in October 2014. Authorities cracked down on peaceful protests critical of government policies, and in mid-2016 jailed activists Maks Bokaev and…
News

New President Should Adopt Reform Agenda

(Berlin) – Kazakhstan’s new president, Kassym-Jomart Tokaev, should urgently address pressing human rights concerns as part of his mandate, Human Rights Watch said in a letter sent to the president that was released today. Tokaev was…
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokaev takes the oath during his inauguration ceremony in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
News

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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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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News

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
News

Journalists Questioned, Website Blocked

(Brussels) – Kazakhstan opened a criminal investigation of two prominent independent media outlets on March 30, 2018, for “disseminating knowingly false information,” Human Rights Watch said today. Police on April 2…
Journalists, others gather around Vadim Boreiko, journalist and regular contributor to Ratel.kz, for comment after the April 5 court hearing against Ratel.kz and chief editor Marat Asipov.
News

Regional Leaders Should End Repressive Policies

(Berlin) – Political leaders in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan should use the window of opportunity offered by political change in their countries to improve human rights, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2018. Leaders of…
People attend the opening ceremony of the new Belarussian-built potash plant in Garlyk, Turkmenistan March 31, 2017.
News

Stop Detaining Critics; Respect Independence of Media, Activists

(Brussels) – The European Union should make respect for human rights and an end to decades of repression a core component of its engagement with Central Asian countries, Human Rights Watch said today. In the past year, Central Asia has seen some…
From left to right: Mr Neven MIMICA, Member of the European Commission; Ms Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Mr Erlan IDRISSOV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan; Mr Erlan ABDYLDAEV
News

Barred from Journalism for 3 Years

(Berlin) – An Almaty court on September 7, 2017, convicted the editor of one of Kazakhstan’s few remaining critical newspapers in a politically motivated money laundering trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The Medeu District Court barred…
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News

End Crackdown on Labor Rights

(Berlin) – A Kazakh court on May 16, 2017, sentenced a trade union leader to two years in prison on politically motivated embezzlement charges, Human Rights Watch said today. In addition, the trade unionist, Amin Yeleusinov, 55, is…
Amin Yeleusinov.
News

Nongovernmental Organizations Targeted for Their Work

(Berlin) – Kazakhstan’s authorities have been abusing tax issues to harass human rights groups, Human Rights Watch said today. Two prominent human rights organizations, the International Legal Initiative Foundation and Liberty, have had tax audits, and…
A public meeting organized by rights groups in Kazakhstan on January 27, 2017.
News

Hundreds Detained, Journalists, Activists Rounded Up

(Berlin) – Law enforcement officers aggressively broke up efforts to hold planned peaceful protests across Kazakhstan on May 21, 2016, detaining hundreds of people, sometimes using force, Human Rights Watch said today. Police also rounded up journalists…
Riot police officer gestures during protests in Almaty, Kazakhstan on May 21, 2016.
News

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
Report
Summary Gang violence has plagued Central America’s “Northern Triangle” countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras for more than a decade. Children are particularly targeted by gangs in these three countries. In Honduras, for example, over 400…
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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…