Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

Refugees and Migrants

    May 29, 2018

    Responding to a package of punitive laws tabled in Parliament today that will criminalize migration-related work by activists and NGOs, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Gauri van Gulik said:

    “In their desperate drive to make Hungary the most hostile territory for asylum seekers and refugees in Europe, the Hungarian government has taken their attempt to enshrine intolerance, xenophobia and racism in law to a new level.

    “This cruel plan to hermetically seal their borders would criminalize legitimate activities such as offering information and providing legal advice to asylum-seekers. This could result in paralysis for organizations and leave already vulnerable people in an ever more precarious situation.

    “MPs should to do the right thing and vote down this brazen attack on activists, on NGOs, and on those seeking safe haven from persecution.”

     

    For more information please contact: Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

     

    May 25, 2018
    Campaign and Local Organizing Committee of the 2018 Canadian Council for Refugees National Youth Action Gathering

    Brought together by shared passion and commitment for inclusivity, youth empowerment and human rights, the Local Organizing Committee for the 2018 Canadian Council for Refugees’ Youth Action Gathering (YAG) is working to bring together immigrant and refugee youth from across Canada to share, learn and network on strategies to address common challenges. The Local Organizing Committee consists of a partnership between York University’s  Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) and Syria Response and Refugee Initiative, Amnesty International at York and the World University Service of Canada’s (WUSC)  Keele Campus Committee. All of them have been active long term participants in the York U Refugees Welcome Here! Campaign.

    May 22, 2018

    Responding to the news that a Rohingya refugee has reportedly died on Manus Island, Kate Schuetze, Refugee Researcher at Amnesty International said:

    “This is extremely sad and heartbreaking news. Amnesty International is extending our sincere condolences to the man’s family and friends.”

    “This tragic and avoidable death is the seventh death of a refugee on Manus Island and the tenth in connection with offshore processing centres on both Manus and Nauru. Australia’s reckless and cruel refugee policies continue to endanger lives and must end immediately.

    “The Australian Government knowingly sends refugees and asylum seekers to places that are unsafe and unsustainable. Enough is enough, offshore processing must end now before further lives are lost.

    “There must be an independent, impartial, prompt and effective investigation into his death, and the other two untimely deaths which happened in August and October last year. The Australian government must bring all refugees and people seeking asylum to Australia immediately, or to a safe third country, and offer them the protection they need and deserve.”

    May 18, 2018

    The Australian government is attempting to walk away from the human rights crisis it has created for refugees and asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) by winding back critical healthcare services, despite the ongoing plight of the people trapped in its offshore detention centres, Amnesty International said today.

    Over the past six months the Australian government has terminated trauma and counselling services for refugees and asylum seekers in PNG, and moved refugees to new detention centres where they have reduced access to healthcare.

    “Nearly five years after Australia began implementing its harmful and illegal offshore detention policy, the situation for refugees and asylum seekers trapped in PNG is as desperate as ever. Rolling back healthcare at this time is making a grave situation even worse,” said Kate Schuetze, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher.

    May 15, 2018

    A surge in migrants and refugees intercepted at sea by the Libyan authorities has seen at least 2,600 people transferred, in the past two months alone, to squalid detention centres where they face torture and extortion, Amnesty International said today.

    The global human rights organisation accuses European governments of complicity in these abuses by actively supporting the Libyan authorities in stopping sea crossings and sending people back to detention centres in Libya.

    “The EU is turning a blind eye to the suffering caused by its callous immigration policies that outsource border control to Libya,” said Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director.

    “When European leaders spare no effort to ensure the Libyan Coast Guard intercepts as many people as possible, they are sending those migrants and refugees straight back to Libya’s detention centres which are notorious for abuse and torture. No one should be sending anyone back to Libya.”

    May 07, 2018
    Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp Bangladesh

    By: Naureen Shah

    In March 2018, I visited the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp near Cox’s bazaar in south eastern Bangladesh. 

    Violence and persecution in the western Rakhine State of Myanmar have caused more than 500,000 Rohingya people, an ethnic minority, to flee their homes.The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called the situation a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing," and the crisis has caused a mass exodus of the Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh. I wanted to bring the stories of the Rohingya people living in Cox’s bazaar back to Canada, so they would not be forgotten.

    April 26, 2018

    On Thursday 26 April, Amnesty International raised a billboard at the San Ysidro Port of Entry (POE) on the US–Mexico border in Tijuana, with a message reminding US and Mexican authorities of their obligations to facilitate asylum claims and to respect the universal human right of all people to seek asylum in other countries. 

    The billboard also invites asylum seekers to report to Amnesty International if authorities turn them away or otherwise violate their human right to seek asylum.

    As hundreds of people who have traveled in caravan from Central America prepare to claim asylum over the weekend at the San Ysidro POE, an Amnesty International delegation will be on the ground to monitor the conduct of authorities in the reception and facilitation of their asylum claims. 

    April 24, 2018

    Responding to the Israeli government’s declaration to the High Court that it will stop forcible deportations of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers to “third countries”, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Magdalena Mughrabi said:

    “While the Israeli government’s declaration to the High Court that it will stop forcible deportations of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers to “third countries” is welcome, there is still deep cause for concern.

    “Israel is still conducting what it calls “voluntary” deportations, though in reality there is nothing voluntary about them. Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers agree to them under pressure. Israel remains under the obligation not to transfer anyone to a country where they would be at real risk of serious human rights violations, or where they would not be protected against such transfer.

    “Amnesty International will keep monitoring Israel’s deportations of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers closely.”

     

    +++++++

    April 24, 2018

    US and Mexican authorities must stop demonizing participants of the caravan from Central America and respect their fundamental right to seek asylum, said Amnesty International today, ahead of their expected arrival at the border between both countries later this week.

    “Seeking asylum is not a crime in the USA or anywhere. The efforts of US officials to tarnish asylum seekers as criminals are cynical fabrications that ring hollow,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    “Threatening to indefinitely detain, prosecute, and deport these asylum seekers is a cruel effort to stigmatize, terrify and push away traumatized people, many of whom have already given up everything to flee desperate circumstances in their home countries.”

    Amnesty International has received reports that in recent days Mexican immigration officials have detained and sought to deport Central American families from the caravan who planned to claim asylum in the USA.

    April 23, 2018

    Trinidad and Tobago must guarantee and protect the rights of all asylum seekers and refugees, said Amnesty International in an open letter to Prime Minister Keith Rowley today, following the deportation of 82 people from Venezuela on 21 April.

    “Millions of Venezuelans are fleeing an unprecedented human crisis in their country. They need a life jacket, not to be sent back to a country where they may face torture or other grave human rights violations,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said that the group included registered asylum-seekers and individuals who had declared an intention to apply for refugee status.

    Mass deportations are prohibited under international law, as is the violation of the principles of non-penalization, non-refoulement, and confidentiality, and the rights to due process and judicial protection.

    April 23, 2018

    Responding to the passing of an asylum and immigration bill that will tighten asylum rules, Cécile Coudriou, President of Amnesty International France, declares:

    “This bill, and the discussions around its text, fails to address the difficulties faced by migrants and asylum seekers in France and the need to fully respect their rights. Those drafting this bill missed numerous opportunities including putting an end to the detention of children and providing dignified protection for those fleeing war or persecution.

    “The majority of parliamentarians were aware that the ‘offence of solidarity’ could be wrongfully used to prosecute people providing voluntary assistance to asylum seekers. Yet the final draft of the bill remains unaligned with international law.

    “The new list of immunities and the conditions for not being prosecuted leaves the sword of Damocles dangling over the heads of activists, citizens and organizations that act to protect human rights.

    March 19, 2018

    Following yesterday’s seizure of a Spanish NGO rescue boat by the Italian authorities and the investigation of its crew for "criminal conspiracy aimed at facilitating illegal immigration” after they refused to hand over to the Libyan Coast Guard refugees and migrants rescued in international waters over 70 nautical miles off the Libyan coast, Amnesty International’s Campaigns Director for Europe, Fotis Filippou said:

    “By requesting the Libyan coastguard to coordinate rescue and then impounding the NGO ship that refused to hand over the refugees and migrants, the Italian authorities have shown a reckless disregard for common decency. Rather than being criminalized for trying to save refugees and migrants who have fled horrific detention conditions and systematic human rights abuses in Libya, NGOs saving lives at seashould be supported.

    “The Italian authorities are once more revealing where their true priorities lie: namely shutting off the central Mediterranean route, with scant regard to the suffering caused. This appears to mark yet another step towards the outsourcing to the Libyan Coast Guard of the patrolling of the central Mediterranean.

    March 14, 2018

    By Rebecca Ma, Associate Campaigner, Amnesty International USA

    For the past three years, fourteen-year-old Astrid and her father Arturo were living an ordinary life in Easton, Pennsylvania. She was in the eighth grade, studying at Easton Area Middle School, where her favorite subject is Math.

    Less than a month before the much anticipated quinceañera celebration of her fifteenth birthday, life as Astrid knew it was turned upside down.

    On February 20, at approximately 5:00 AM, Astrid was asleep in her room when she was awoken by six male Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) armed agents standing before her bed and yelling: “IMMIGRATION — GET UP!” They ordered everyone in the house into a room and asked them for identification. The ICE agents did not show a warrant or say why they were there.

    March 14, 2018

    The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) must boost efforts to protect civilians against the senseless violence that has plagued the country for over four years, and publicly report on the human rights situation, Amnesty International said today.

    The UN Mission, whose mandate is set to be extended tomorrow, has a crucial role to play in providing much-needed civilian protection, and timely public reporting on the human rights situation in the country.

    “With the continuing conflict and associated human rights violations in South Sudan, the possibility of civilians returning to their homes or being resettled remains remote. The Protection of Civilians (POC) sites are truly life-saving for hundreds of ousands of people in desperate need of protection,” said Dr. Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    March 14, 2018

    Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia must take a strong stand against ongoing crimes against humanity targeting Rohingya in Myanmar as they meet this weekend, Amnesty International said.

    Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s State Counsellor and de facto political leader, is expected to attend the first ever ASEAN-Australia Summit, taking place in Sydney on 17-18 March.

    “The orchestrated campaign to drive Rohingya out of Myanmar and ensure they cannot return must end. Even if the violence has subsided, ethnic cleansing continues – authorities are starving Rohingya and erecting security force bases on their lands in a bid to force them out,” said James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

    “The human rights crisis in Rakhine State, and Myanmar as a whole, must be top of the agenda this weekend in Sydney. ASEAN has been shamefully silent on what is happening in one of its member states so far. It is high time for the organisation to take meaningful action, and to call an emergency ASEAN Summit to address the issue.”

    Pages

    Subscribe to Refugees and Migrants
    rights