Features

Record 68.5 million people displaced worldwide: UN

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A record 68.5 million people have been forced flee their homes due to war, violence and persecution, notably in places like Myanmar and Syria, the UN said on June 19. GENEVA – Agence France Presse Hurriyet By the end of 2017, the number was nearly three million higher than the previous year and showed a 50-percent increase from the 42.7 million uprooted from their homes a decade ago, according to a report by the UN refugee agency. The current figure ... Read More »

A recipe for lasting neo-colonialism: The legacy of the ‘Macmillan Doctrine’ enunciated on 19 and 26 June 1958

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Klearchos A. Kyriakides 19 June 2018 Published by Agora Dialogue to mark the passage of 60 years since the publication of the ill-fated ‘Macmillan Plan’ on 19 June 1958[1] ‘Harold Macmillan, carried in the sea at Accra, Ghana, 1960’[2] Introduction: ‘the problems of Cyprus’ In certain circles, it is often said that ‘the Cyprus problem’ (in the singular) amounts to one of ‘invasion and occupation’.[3]  In a sense, this is true, but it is not completely true.  A more accurate ... Read More »

Charities aren’t doing enough to determine if they’re really making a difference

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First do no harm. It’s a basic tenet of medicine. When intervening in peoples lives – even with good intentions – we need to check whether we are doing them any damage. Paul Montgomery The Conversation But sadly, this key principle from the medical profession has not been taken to heart by… The third sector has become a common provider of social and health services in high income countries, from children’s services to offender rehabilitation, but we know very little ... Read More »

Adamstown Heights child sexual assault case: “Naming and shaming” on social media can affect how a matter proceeds in court

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THE sexual assault of a child is confronting and sickening to any person who recognises the special vulnerability of children, and their lack of defences when adults abuse their power. Joanne McCarthy Newcastle Herald It is why the Australian public so strongly supported establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2012. As a community we said yes to a five-year inquiry that was, at its heart, about the rights of the child to remain innocent, safe, loved and ... Read More »

Why victims aren’t coming forward about forced marriages

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Since forced marriage was criminalised in March 2013, over 230 cases have been referred to the AFP, but advocates say this number does not reflect the real number at risk. Sandra Siagian ABC They are calling for more measures to be introduced to protect victims and provide a safe space for them to come forward. No prosecutions here — why? Since the criminalisation of forced marriage in Australia, there have been no successful prosecutions. Commander Lesa Gale, who heads the ... Read More »

#AllWomenCount: art and culture at the forefront of World Refugee Day

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The number of forced migrants is now at an all-time global high – and a majority of these are women and children. Images of refugee women are a familiar sight in press coverage of the variously defined “refugee” or “migrant crisis”. Anna Ball The Conversation These are portrayals of victims – their eyes downcast, arms clutching a young child in tearful desperation as they teeter aboard an inflatable craft. Yet these images do not represent the richly complex identities of ... Read More »

Community Sector Protests Cuts to Asylum Seeker Support Payments

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Community sector leaders have gathered in Canberra to protest cuts to asylum seeker support payments, as a new report reveals that government policy is driving people seeking asylum into destitution. Luke Michael ProBono Leaders from 10 national NGOs, along with a delegation of asylum seekers and community members, gathered at Parliament House on Monday to urge the federal government to stop cuts to the Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS). This service provides asylum seekers with a basic safety net of ... Read More »

For Eurydice’s sake, we need to do more than go to vigils

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Of all the violent deaths of women, the death of Eurydice Dixon, the 22-year-old rising comic, is one we can embrace when we signal our opposition to violence against women. Jenna Price The Canberra Times We see it’s not her fault. A stranger allegedly killed her and no one could predict that. It could not have been her fault. In the contemporary era, the story of Eurydice Dixon begins with Anita Cobby, the kind and… Janine Balding. Jill Meagher. Even ... Read More »

Is Our Wealth and Privilege Making Us Miserable?

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Psychologist Adam Blanch considers why so many Australians are anxious despite being safer, wealthier, more privileged and more educated than ever before. Adam Blanch ProBono “Dear Adam, I am interested in your perspective. I look around and think as a society that we have more than we have ever had, but everyone seems more anxious and more depressed than ever before. What do you think is going on?” – Anon Dear Anon, I have had the privilege of living in ... Read More »

Russia: Government vs. Rights Groups

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The Battle Chronicle For the past four years, the Kremlin has sought to stigmatize criticism or alternative views of government policy as disloyal, foreign-sponsored, or even traitorous. HRW It is part of a sweeping crackdown to silence critical voices that has included new legal restrictions on the internet, on freedom of expression, on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and on other fundamental freedoms. An enduring, central feature has been the 2012 law requiring independent groups ... Read More »

United Arab Emirates gives Ethiopia $1 billion lifeline to ease foreign exchange crisis

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is to deposit $1 billion in Ethiopia’s central bank to ease the latter’s foreign exchange shortage. Justina Crabtree CNBC The sum is part of a total of a $3 billion aid and investment pledge from the UAE to Ethiopia announced Friday. The news came as Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia’s foreign exchange shortage is due in part to its spending ... Read More »

Massachusetts’ governor says family separations are “inhumane” and rescinds National Guard offer

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Amidst a wave of prominent Republican figures who have come out against the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy of separating the children of undocumented immigrants from their… Annabelle Timsit QUARTZ The Republican governor announced Monday (June 18) that, in light of the family separations, he is revoking his earlier pledge to send two National Guard military analysts and a helicopter to the… “Governor Baker directed the National Guard not to send any assets or personnel to the Southwest border today because the federal ... Read More »

Trump migrant separation policy: Children ‘in cages’ in Texas

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Reporters and Democratic lawmakers have been allowed inside a detention centre that lies at the heart of a growing storm over a… BBC Authorities did not allow photos or videos to be taken inside the centre, but US Customs and Border Protection later released several images. Former First Lady Laura Bush has compared it to the internment camps used for Japanese-Americans during World War Two. A Democratic congressman who visited the site said it was “nothing short of a prison”. ... Read More »

Anger grows in Philippines over China’s control of shoal

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Public backlash as documentary shows Filipino fishermen accusing Chinese para-military forces of forcibly taking the best of their catch Richard Javad Heydarian Asia Times Once again, the Scarborough Shoal dispute is threatening to torpedo Philippine-China relations. Two years into office, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is facing a widespread public backlash over reports that the Chinese coast guard is controlling the contested shoal and surrounding areas and routinely harasses Filipino fishermen. In a widely-watched documentary broadcast on the GMA Network, a… ... Read More »

Our democracy is more important than Facebook’s profits

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No one realised it at the time, but in 2004 a poison was created that is now spreading through and threatening the stability of democratic countries around the world. Lucy Battersby Brisbane Times The poison isn’t attacking government’s directly. Instead it infects the information flowing through society to the point that citizens are confused and misled away from making proper decisions. At its worst, this poison, this disinformation, prompts people to hunt down and hurt perceived enemies. Disinformation is spread ... Read More »

After the Trump-Kim Summit: Now Comes the Hard Part

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Last week the world watched the first-ever meeting between a North Korean leader and a U.S. president. Crisis Group offers a 360-degree view of how the summit played in the U.S., the Korean peninsula, China and… ICG Doubts and questions swirled before the momentous 12 June summit in Singapore between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Could any good come of a meeting for which preparation seemed to be last-minute and inadequate? Was one of the ... Read More »