refugees and migrants

Civil society groups call for evacuation of refugees held in Nauru

In September 2022, refugee and human rights groups called on the Australian Government to immediately evacuate refugees held in Nauru. According to reports there are currently around 90 refugees held in Nauru in “urgent need of evacuation after a decade of inaction and cruelty by successive governments”.
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Civil society groups call for evacuation of refugees held in Nauru

As Qatar hosts the FIFA World Cup, human rights organisations draw attention to its dismal human rights record

Head of Qatar’s World Cup organising committee, Hassan al-Thawadi, accused teams who wanted to wear the OneLove armband at the World Cup of sending a “very divisive message” to the Islamic and Arab world; The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) documents the grave violations committed against foreign workers; a Resolution of the European Parliament urged FIFA and Qatar to compensate widespread abuses that migrant workers suffered while building the 2022 World Cup infrastructure; the Qatar Criminal Court of Appeal upheld the life sentences handed down to a number of human rights activists Read more

As Qatar hosts the FIFA World Cup, human rights organisations draw attention to its dismal human rights record

CSOs demand greater involvement in decision-making processes, migrant pushbacks & obstruction of NGOs’ work at Belarusian border concerning

Civil society – most notably the Civic Alliance Latvia (CAL), the largest network of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the country – is pushing for greater engagement with local and national decision-makers. On 4th October 2022, CAL sent an official letter to the President of Latvia, Egils Levits, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš, potential coalition parties and their alliances to ensure the involvement of civil society in the process of drafting the government declaration. Separately, in February 2022, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the National Council for Electronic Media (NEPLP), the Latvian media regulating authority, suspended broadcasts of Rossija RTR for five years, Rossija 24 for four years and TV Centre International for three years. The decision was taken on emergency grounds, and more quickly than usually required, as it was considered that the channels posed a threat to national security. Bans are usually in place for a maximum of one year, but special derogations from this provision were taken due to the emergency situation. Read more

CSOs demand greater involvement in decision-making processes, migrant pushbacks & obstruction of NGOs’ work at Belarusian border concerning

CSOs team up to support refugees from Ukraine

During April 2022, several protests were staged at different embassies in support of Ukraine. Additionally, three Estonian NGOs – the Estonian Refugee Council, Mondo and the Ukrainian Cultural Center – have been engaged in supporting Ukrainian people affected by conflicts since 2014 by providing food, medicines and hygiene items, clothes and shoes. After the war broke out in February 2022, the three NGOs launched the “For Ukraine!” initiative to help residents close to the Ukrainian front and other vulnerable groups. Read more

CSOs team up to support refugees from Ukraine

Prosecutors file indictment against women’s rights activists as government continues to target WHRDs

On 14th October 2022, a small demonstration and counter-demonstration were held in front of a courthouse in Warsaw during the trial of women’s rights activist Justyna Wydrzyńska, accused of aiding and abetting a pregnancy termination, which is considered a crime in Poland and is punishable by three years in prison. The trial will move forward in January 2023. On 20th October 2022, prosecutors in Warsaw filed an indictment against three women’s rights activists: Marta Lempart, Klementyna Suchanow and Agnieszka Czerederecka-Fabin from the StrajkKobiet (Polish Women’s Strike). They are accused of endangering public health and “causing an epidemiological threat” for protests which took place during the COVID-19 pandemic against the near-total abortion ban in October 2020. Read more

Prosecutors file indictment against women’s rights activists as government continues to target WHRDs

Mexico: attacks on environmental defenders on the rise

On 26th October 2022, environmental defender Filogonio Martínez Merino was found dead in the Piedra Blanca community, in the Santiago Jamiltepec municipality, Oaxaca. The defender, a member of the Consejo de Pueblos Unidos por la Defensa del Río Verde (Council of Peoples United for the Defence of the Río Verde - COPUDEVER), was one of the key local leaders in the resistance against the hydroelectric projects known as ‘Paso de la Reyna’ and ‘Río Verde’. Read more

Mexico: attacks on environmental defenders on the rise

Canada: courts consider cases with impact on civic freedoms

For several weeks in September and October 2022, people in Toronto demonstrated in solidarity with protesters in Iran. The city is home to the world’s second largest Iranian diaspora. Read more

Canada: courts consider cases with impact on civic freedoms

LGBTIQ+ organisation suspended as protests rise over inflation

the National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO Bureau), the government body that regulates NGOs in Uganda, suspended the operations of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) for failing to register with the NGO Bureau; The country’s rising inflation sparked several protests after the rate jumped from 2.7% in January 2022 to 6.3% in May 2022, and to a high of 9% August 2022, resulting in price increases on basic consumer products; Uganda's Parliament passes a restrictive law that criminalises "unauthorised access to information" and "promoting hate speech," among other clauses; Journalists arrested, detained and kidnapped in separate incidents. Read more

LGBTIQ+ organisation suspended as protests rise over inflation

Macron secures second term, climate movement targeted via Separatism bill

While President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected for a second term in April 2022, the presidential coalition Ensemble lost the absolute majority in the National Assembly following legislative elections in June 2022. After the results of the presidential election were announced on 24th April 2022, far-left protesters took to the streets in Mayor-run French cities. In Paris, Rennes and Toulouse some incidents were reported as police clashed with protesters. Concerning developments that took place in relation to the so-called Separatism bill. On 13th September 2022, the prefect of the Vienne department sent letters to public authorities in the Poitiers area urging them to withdraw their funding of “Village des Alternatives”, a festival organised by Alternatiba, a grassroots movement fighting against climate change and social inequalities. According to the prefect, the scheduled activities would allegedly breach the “contract of republican commitment”. However, the mayor of Poitiers, one of the recipients of the letter, criticised the request of the prefect as disproportionate and offered her support to Alternatiba, refusing to defund the activities. Read more  |  Read in French

Macron secures second term, climate movement targeted via Separatism bill

Reforms on so-called “Gag law’ stall, concerns over secrecy law

In early October 2022, the upper house of the Spanish parliament, the Senate, approved a landmark bill that will ban expressions of support for the former dictator Francisco Franco. Despite expectations and promises, the Spanish government has not moved forward with the reform of the so-called Gag Law, which allows authorities to sanction and muzzle dissent. Several protests were staged, including on racial justice and for sex worker rights. On 7th October 2022, Spanish prosecutors launched a criminal hate crime investigation against male students of the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) who yelled misogynist threats from their all-male dormitory at a neighbouring all-female dormitory in a coordinated event.

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Reforms on so-called “Gag law’ stall, concerns over secrecy law