Spain’s Summary Returns to Morocco Violate the European Convention on Human Rights

On 3 October 2017, the European Court of Human Rights ruled unanimously against Spain in N.D. and N.T. v. Spain, stating that the country had violated the prohibition of collective expulsion (Article 4 of Protocol No.4) and the right to an effective remedy (Article 13) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).[1] The judgment was issued by the Chamber (first instance) and therefore, is open to appeal to the Grand Chamber, during the three-month period following its delivery.

Syrian War and the Plight of Afghan Refugees: Iran Coercing Afghans to Fight in the Conflict

The massive influx of Afghan refugees to Iran started in 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Until 1992, Iran was exemplary in welcoming refugees. It granted 3-4 million Afghans work permits, free education and subsidized healthcare. Afghans could stay in Iran indefinitely. In 1992 Iran stopped granting permanent residence rights to Afghans, even though in the subsequent years, civil war and the reign of the Taliban have caused an increase in involuntary migration.
Since 2004 Iran has undertaken different measures to curb and decrease the number of refugees.

Human Rights Watch Issues Important Report on Forced Return of Afghan Refugees

Human Rights Watch has published an important report, Pakistan Coercion UN Complicity: The Mass Forced Return of Afghan Refugees. The report details the return of 365,000 Afghan refugees (out of a total of 1.5 million registered refugees) from Pakistan in the second half of 2016. It condemns the forced nature of the returns and strongly criticizes UNHCR for not speaking out against the Pakistan government’s actions.

Spain’s Summary Returns to Morocco: A Case Pending Before the European Court of Human Rights

The term "Hot Returns" refers to the "push-back" operations against migrants authorized by the Spanish government in Ceuta and Melilla. After many years denouncing the situation faced by migrants attempting to irregularly cross into Spain through Ceuta and Melilla, attention is now focused on the N.D. and N.T. v. Spain case currently before the European Court of Human Rights. This is the first time an international court will have the opportunity to rule on the legality of the Spanish Government's actions along the Spanish-Moroccan border.

Australian Court Restrains Government from Breaching Duty of Care to Pregnant Refugee in Nauru

The Australian government has been criticized for a raft of its asylum seeker policies, perhaps the most notorious of which is its removal of “unlawful non-citizens” to two offshore processing centers—one in Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and the other in the Republic of Nauru—and the protracted detention of asylum seekers in those facilities. This is an ongoing human rights concern. Notwithstanding the government’s announcement late last year that it would settle some of these detainees in the United States, the Prime Minister has said that that arrangement is a “one-off”; it will not be repeated. The Immigration Minister has stated that the offshore detention policy will not change and that Nauru, at least, “will remain in its current status forever”. In any event, the fate of the US-Australia deal is anything but certain, after President Trump blasted it as the “worst deal ever”.