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Calamitous Year for Human Rights

(Tunis) – Armed groups that support competing Libyan governments and their international benefactors have been responsible for massive civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction during 2020, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report…
Fighters of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) during clashes at the Ain Zara frontline, in the southern suburbs of capital Tripoli, with the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA).
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The strange boat drew alongside them, and as they had feared, their rescuers were Libyan. They were miles off the coast with a puncture somewhere in their inflatable craft and no hope left of reaching Europe. The Libyans had guns. “Abdi” knew the…
Migrant detention center in the Tripoli suburb of Tajoura.
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Release, Evacuate Detained Refugees and Migrants

(Brussels) –  European Union foreign ministers gathering in Brussels on July 15, 2019, should issue a clear call to Libyan authorities to close their migrant detention centers, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the European…
Debris covers the ground after an airstrike on the Tajoura migrant detention center in Tajoura east of Tripoli in Libya where 53 migrants were killed, Wednesday, July 3, 2019.
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EU and Italy Bear Responsibility, Should Condition Cooperation

(Brussels) – European Union policies contribute to a cycle of extreme abuse against migrants in Libya, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The EU and Italy’s support for the Libyan Coast Guard contributes significantly to the…
A detainee stands outside a toilet stall in the Ain Zara detention center, Tripoli, July 5, 2018.
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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.
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Allow European Rescues, Agree on Safe Disembarkation

(Milan) – The European Union’s obstruction of nongovernmental rescues and handover of responsibility to Libyan coast guard forces is a recipe for even greater loss of life in the Mediterranean and a continuing cycle of abuse for people…
SOS MEDITERRANEE crew rescue people off an over-crowded rubber boat in the Mediterranean, June 9, 2018.
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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
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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.
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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.
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European Union efforts to stem migration from Libya risk condemning migrants and asylum seekers to violent abuse at the hands of government officials, militias, and criminal groups in Libya. Newly documented abuses include torture, rape, and killings in…
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(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,…
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To Permanent Representatives of Member States of the UN Human Rights Council, and Observer States of Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Togo

Your Excellency, We are writing to you to ask your delegation to urgently consider calling for a Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights of migrants at sea. The devastating event in Lampedusa speaks for itself, and warrants a…
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H.E. Dr. Jean Ping Chairperson, African Union Commission Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Your Excellency, In advance of the 17th African Union Summit, scheduled for June 23- July 1, 2011 in Malabo, we are writing to provide input into the discussions that are…
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Civilians in Western Libya Need Medical Aid Now

(New York) - The Libyan government and opposition forces should immediately grant aid agencies safe passage to violence-stricken areas of western Libya and allow civilians to flee the fighting, Human Rights Watch said today. United Nations relief…
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With Brussels increasingly the most influential actor in Kosovo, the European Commission annual progress report is a key benchmark for its performance on human rights. The latest report, published yesterday, rightly highlights the ongoing weakness of…