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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

Click to expand Image Migrants are seen in front of a dorm…
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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Hungary’s governing party is cranking up the heat on nongovernmental organizations.  With its tight grip on parliament, and having undermined the courts and the media, the Fidesz government doesn’t like being held to account by pesky independent groups.…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during his state-of-the-nation address in Budapest, Hungary, February 10, 2017.
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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.
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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
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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
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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…
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Vice President Joe Biden                             
 
 The White House
 
 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
 
 Washington, DC 20500
            
 
 RE: Human Rights Situation in Serbia  
 
 Dear Vice President Biden…
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Major Gap Between Treatment and European Aspirations

(Brussels) - Efforts toward European integration for the Western Balkans are hampered by persistent human rights problems, Human Rights Watch said today. In its World Report 2011, Human Rights Watch documents human rights concerns in Bosnia and…
Report

 
 Kosovo: Poisoned by Lead
 A Health and Human Rights Crisis in Mitrovica's Roma Camps
 I. Summary
 Methodology
 II. Key Recommendations
 III. Chronology of Events
 IV. Background
 Kosovo's Romani Communities
…
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Protecting Minority Rights Key to Kosovo’s Future

As Kosovo is poised to declare independence, the new government and its international partners should build a state based on democratic principles and the rule of law, Human Rights Watch said in a seven-point human rights agenda for Kosovo issued today.…
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EU Should Press Zagreb to Take Stronger Action on Security, Housing, Employment

Serb refugees returning to Croatia face significant obstacles to the full enjoyment of their human rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Croatia is a candidate for European Union membership, and respect for minority rights is a…
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European Court of Human Rights Should Reconsider Tenancy Rights Case

The European Court of Human Rights should reconsider a landmark case on housing rights in Croatia, Human Rights Watch said today. The case concerns the wartime termination of the right to occupy socially-owned property (so-called “tenancy rights”)—a…
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Protection for Refugees, Justice for Victims Essential

In a statement delivered today at the annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Human Rights Watch called for immediate action to assist Kosovar refugees and establish conditions suitable for their peaceful return home. Widney Brown…
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Calls on International Community to Increase Aid

Human Rights Watch today criticized the decision of the Montenegrin government to deny those fleeing the fighting in Kosovo entry into Montenegro. While we acknowledge the burdens faced by the Montenegrin government in responding to this crisis, closing…