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As children across Serbia enjoy their summer break, for some children the next school year can’t start soon enough. It may be their first chance to get an education. The Serbian government formally pledged in June that all children with…
Marina  [pseudonym], a 4-year-old girl with developmental disabilities who spent ten months of her life in an institution, with her foster sister. © 2015 Jasenko Rasol for Human Rights Watch
News

The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
News

Asylum Seekers Denied Access to Protection; Subject to Violence

(Budapest) – Croatian police are forcing asylum seekers back to Serbia from inside Croatia, in some cases using violence, without giving them an opportunity to lodge claims for protection, Human Rights Watch said today. Human…
Migrants wait in line to receive free food during a snowfall outside a derelict customs warehouse in Belgrade, Serbia January 9, 2017.
News

Serbia, Hungary Leave People Without Adequate Shelter as Winter Hits Hard

While many in Serbia prepare for Orthodox Christmas, others in the country and neighboring Hungary are bedding down in freezing cold weather hoping to survive. Temperatures in Hungary and Serbia have dropped to minus 20 degrees centigrade at night.…
Asylum seekers and migrants living in appalling conditions in abandoned warehouses behind Belgrade train station, Serbia. November 22, 2016.
Video
Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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Government Should Implement Law Providing for Inclusive Education

Today, September 1st, will be an exciting first day of school for most Serbian children. But for many children with disabilities, it will be just one more day without a chance to learn, make friends, and interact with peers and teachers. Take for…
A living room in Veternik Institution where children and adults with disabilities spend most of their days. There are no toys, education materials, or carpets on the floor. The only available source of stimulation is a TV attached to the wall.
News

Ensure Asylum Access; Investigate Cruel, Violent Pushbacks

(Budapest) – Migrants at Hungary’s border are being summarily forced back to Serbia, in some cases with cruel and violent treatment, without consideration of their claims for protection, Human Rights Watch said today. New…
Asylum seekers in Roszke waiting for days and weeks to be admitted to the transit zone, Hungary, March 31, 2016.
Report
Summary The fighting was right in the city center. Our school changed hands: some forces came in, then left and were replaced by others. The fighters were inside the school firing out of the windows. The missing piece of the…
News

Protect Students, Schools by Joining Safe Schools Declaration

(Berlin) – Hostilities in eastern Ukraine have damaged or destroyed hundreds of schools, many of which were used by parties to the conflict for military purposes, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  …
Cover imageA former student, 13, stands in a damaged school in Vuhlehirsk.
Video
(November 17, 2015) More than 800,000 asylum seekers and migrants have arrived in Europe by sea in 2015, with most traveling onward to northern and western EU countries. According to UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, 84 percent were from Syria,…
News
Nina Nikolayevna prefers to focus on the good times.   When the school principal reminisces about the celebrations they used to hold at School Number 3, she is animated and passionate.   There was the Saint…
2015-11-eca-krasnohorivka
News

Stranded in Misery by Delay, Lack of Coordination, Indifference

(Budapest) –The European Union and Western Balkans countries meeting on October 25, 2015, should focus on alleviating the suffering of migrants and asylum seekers stranded at various European borders, Human Rights Watch said today. Cascading border…
2015-10-eca-serbia-croatia-refugees
News
It’s September, the beginning of a new school year in Ukraine, but the children of the small village of Nikishine in eastern Ukraine no longer have a school to go to.   Before the war, 58 children attended the village school…
School in Nikishine, eastern Ukraine, damaged during fighting between Ukrainian government and rebel forces from Aug. 2014 to Feb. 2015.
News

Lack of Consensus on Mandatory Relocation; Shift Focus to Countries Outside EU

(Brussels) – The response to the refugee crisis agreed by the European Union interior ministers on September 14, 2015, is largely focused on shifting responsibility to countries outside the EU, Human Rights Watch said today. …
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News
The Hungarian government’s problematic approach to asylum seekers and migrants has hit a new low. The changes to the Hungarian asylum law as of August 1, among other things, mean that asylum claims from anyone entering via a country on a safe “third”…
hungary migrants
News

Meeting in Washington with Prime Minister

(Washington, DC) – US Vice President Joe Biden should urge Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucić to take concrete steps to advance human rights protection, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Biden released today. Biden and Vucić will meet this week…
News
Vice President Joe Biden                              The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20500             RE: Human Rights Situation in Serbia  Dear Vice President Biden…
News

Beaten, Extorted, Shoved Back Across the Border

(New York) – Asylum seekers and migrants in Serbia experience harassment and abuse at the hands of Serbian police, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch interviewed migrants and asylum seekers who described violent assaults, threats…