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April 18, 2017

Child refugees in Europe ‘forced to sell bodies’ to pay smugglers

Governments urged to end ‘most heinous human rights violation’ as report finds widespread sexual exploitation of migrant children in Greece

Unaccompanied child refugees in Greece desperate to reach the UK and other parts of northern Europe are being forced to sell their bodies in order to pay smugglers to help them with their journeys, according to a new report from Harvard University.

The report, from Dr Vasileia Digidiki and Prof Jacqueline Bhabha at the university’s centre for health and human rights, reveals what they [...]

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April 13, 2017

Chechens tell of prison beatings and electric shocks in anti-gay purge: ‘They called us animals’

Up to several hundred gay men are feared to have been rounded up and some killed in ultra-conservative Russian republic

At least once a day, Adam’s captors attached metal clamps to his fingers and toes. One of the men then cranked a handle on a machine to which the clamps were linked with wires, and sent powerful electric shocks through his body. If he managed not to scream, others would join in, beating him with wooden sticks or metal rods.

As they tortured him, the men shouted verbal abuse at him for being gay, and demanded to know the names of other gay men he knew in Chechnya. “Sometimes they were trying to get information from me; other [...]

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September 8, 2016

Aid groups suspend cooperation with UN in Syria because of Assad ‘influence’

Exclusive: Coalition withdraws from information-sharing programme, saying regime is manipulating relief effort

More than 70 aid groups have suspended cooperation with the UN in Syria and have demanded an immediate and transparent investigation into its operations in the country because of concerns the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has gained “significant and substantial” influence over the relief effort.

The coalition, which includes some of Syria’s most widely known aid organisations, told the UN it intends to withdraw from the UN’s information-sharing programme in protest at the way some of its agencies are functioning within the country.

 
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February 4, 2016

David Cameron calls for billions more in international aid for Syrian refugees

PM seeking ‘new approach’ and doubles British contribution ahead of London conference of world leaders

The international community must raise billions of dollars more than last year to alleviate the unacceptable plight of Syrian refugees, David Cameron has warned prior to a London donor conference designed to address the consequences of the five-year Syrian civil war.

At a conference attended by 70 world leaders, including the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Cameron will on Thursday promise to double UK aid to Syria through to 2020.

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