#OpenTheIslands in Greece: Daily Brief

Plus: Ethnic cleansing campaign continues in Burma; Political violence in Zimbabwe; Children in Russian orphanage allege rape; Latest update on China dystopia; Cartoonist jailed in Equatorial Guinea; Ethiopian activist freed; #StandUpForHumanRights.


  1. France plans to set its age of sexual consent law at 15 after two men accused of having sex with 11-year-old girls were able to escape rape charges under current French law. This proposed change is a step in the right direction to curbing sexual violence in France, but it does not go nearly far enough. HRW is currently running a campaign to end child marriage in Florida, USA.
  2. European leaders should be addressing rising intolerance across the region brought on in part by the ascension of authoritarian populists in some political factions throughout Europe. But instead, leaders in many countries are fanning the flames of hate.
  3. This year women have collectively raised their voices to condemn discrimination and abuse. Half of the films presented at this year's HRW Film Festival in London have been directed by female filmmakers. London readers can see them March 7 through March 16.
  4. From earlier today: As the 2-year anniversary of the EU-Turkey deal nears (March 18) more than 13,000 asylum seekers are still trapped in deplorable conditions on Greek islands. Help these men, women and children: join the #OpenTheIslands campaign to end this "containment policy" immediately and bring the refugees to safety on the mainland.
  5. The ethnic cleansing campaign against Rohingya Muslims in Burma is continuing, according to a senior United Nations human rights official who visited refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh recently.
  6. Opposing factions of Zimbabwe’s opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai, descended into violence as they struggle for control in the wake of party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s death last month. Follow Dewa Mavhinga, HRW's Southern Africa Director for news updates.
  7. Seven boys under the age of 14 who had been living in an orphanage for children with disabilities in Russia allege they were raped by orphanage staff and visitors, a lawyer for some of the boys told HRW. The boys are now with adoptive or foster families.