Civil Rights

ALHR: Government must do more to protect reproductive health rights

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The leading advocacy group for human rights law in Australia has called on the federal government to better ensure the country is meeting its international obligations to protect women and girls when it comes to processes such as abortion. Jerome Doraisamy Lawyers Weekly Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) spoke earlier this week in response to comments from Nationals MP George Christensen and incoming Senator Amanda Stoker, who – at an anti-abortion rally held in Queensland this past Sunday – ... Read More »

South African farmers are trapped in a brutal reality – and my family is a victim of it

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My father-in-law was beaten to death last September on his sugar-cane farm, 60 kilometres from Pietermaritzburg, a regional city in South Africa. Glenn Freeman Brisbane Times Civil rights group AfriForum suggests there is, on average, 680 farm attacks and 94 farm murders in South Africa each  year – almost two attacks a day and two murders a week over 18 years. Critics of Peter Dutton’s latest contentious proposal – a special humanitarian intake of South African farmers – should consider ... Read More »

‘Women must take a stand to defend, heal the nation’-Kah Walla

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Journal du Cameroun Cameroonian politician and Human Rights activists. Kah Walla says it is about time women take up thier stand as mothers of the nation to defend and heal the land. The Human Rights Activist who is also the President of the Cameroon People’s Party, made the remark earlier this month, while leading about 150 women from nine towns and 5 regions in Cameroon in a march against what they term injustices and bad governance for decades. “As Mothers ... Read More »

Cambridge Analytica: Warrant sought to inspect company

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The UK’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham says she will seek a warrant to look at the databases and servers used by British data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. BBC The firm is accused of using the personal data of 50 million Facebook members, amassed via a personality quiz app created by an academic. Former employee Christopher Wylie claims the company used the data to influence the US presidential election. The firm denies the allegations. Ms Denham had demanded access to Cambridge ... Read More »

Saudi women should have choice whether to wear abaya robe, crown prince says

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Women in Saudi Arabia need not wear headcover or the black abaya – the loose-fitting, full-length robes symbolic of Islamic piety – as long as their attire is “decent and respectful”, the kingdom’s reform-minded crown prince has said. RIYADH – Reuters Hurriyet With the ascent to power of young Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the kingdom has seen an expansion in women’s rights including a decision to allow women to attend mixed public sporting events and the right to drive cars ... Read More »

Our authoritarian government has turned up the heat. But we can still fight back

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Australia’s accelerating militarisation and erosion of civil liberties must be resisted Scott Ludlam The Guardian There’s an old aphorism about the best way to boil a frog which holds that if that’s your thing, you sicko, you should turn the temperature up very, very slowly. Shock the frog with a sharp enough temperature increase and she’ll jump right out of the pot. Something similar applies, maybe, to the gentle stench of authoritarianism that now undeniably permeates Australian politics. Things that might… ... Read More »

Articulate US teenagers could finally force action on gun control

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On Wednesday in the US, thousands of students left their classrooms in a national day of action designed to force political change on gun crime. George Rennie The Conversation Following the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, this walkout is part of an extraordinary national movement. Young people across the US are doing what countless others have tried and failed to do: using grassroots strategies to take on the powerful gun lobby. The US has an epidemic of ... Read More »

The 2018 Turkey Regress Report

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The European Commission is due to publish its next progress report on Turkey in April 2018. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe This standard procedure is meant to outline how candidate countries have advanced in aligning with the EU’s political and technical criteria for accession and to chart their paths forward. Yet, in Turkey’s case, a massive deterioration of the rule of law makes it impossible to acknowledge any progress. Instead, the commission’s forthcoming report is bound to illustrate a substantial regression. ... Read More »

Religious freedom must not be a green light to discriminate

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As it ponders the role of religious freedom in Australia, the Religious Freedom Review headed by Philip Ruddock would do well to reflect on the real-life scenarios where belief collides with the rights of individuals. Hugh Harris The Canberra Times Should independent schools be able to expel students with gay parents? Should it be lawful for bakers, photographers or florists to refuse same-sex weddings? Yes? No? And why? Providing answers would provide clarity as to the consequences of any proposed ... Read More »

Tunisian women march for inheritance

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Hundreds of women took to the streets in the Tunisian capital on March 10 to demand equal inheritance rights as men, a subject often seen as taboo in the Arab world. TUNIS-Reuters Hurriyet The North African Muslim country grants women more rights than other countries in the region, and since last year has allowed Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men. But the protestors marching to the parliament building in Tunis on March 10 said they wanted to be compared with ... Read More »

How US gun culture compares with the world in five charts

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The United States. Home to liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the most mass shootings in the world. Kara Fox CNN America’s unique relationship to gun ownership — enshrined as a right in its constitution — is also in the middle of an emotional and divisive debate about the meaning of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Twenty-seven words that give its citizens the right to own guns and also, in the views of many critics, helped usher ... Read More »

UN moves towards recognising human right to a healthy environment

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Formal recognition would help protect those who increasingly risk their lives to defend the land, water, forests and wildlife, says the UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment Jonathan Watts The Guardian It is time for the United Nations to formally recognise the right to a healthy environment, according to the world body’s chief investigator of murders, beatings and intimidation of environmental defenders. John Knox, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, said the momentum for such ... Read More »

Women’s Day marches fill Latin America capitals to denounce

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Tens of thousands took to the streets of Buenos Aires and capital cities across Latin America on March 8 to mark International Women’s Day and protest against gender-based violence. BUENOS AIRES Hurriyet “A beautiful woman is one who marches” said one of the many placards held above the densely packed, slow-moving crowds of demonstrators in the Argentine capital. “We have to make a lot of noise. Over here, we have to be everything, not just women. This day should be ... Read More »

Why the gun debate needs to move away from simplistic ideas of ‘good’ and ‘bad’

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In the lead-up to the Tasmanian election, one issue proved particularly incendiary. Right before the vote on Saturday, the incumbent Liberal government was accused of having a hidden plan to “water down” the state’s gun laws. Dr Samara McPhedran The Conversation Much was made of the long-running Firearms Consultative Committee’s perceived role in shaping the policy. Suddenly, the Liberals were cast as being in cahoots with the “gun lobby”, leaving only Labor and the Greens to stand up against that ... Read More »

Australian gun lobby invests in rightwing parties in push to weaken reforms

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Exclusive: Cashed-up firearm groups are using ballooning memberships to flex their political muscle Michael McGowan The Guardian Australian gun lobby groups pumped more than $500,000 into helping minor rightwing parties win seats in last year’s Queensland state election as part of a growing push to weaken the nation’s strict firearm control laws. As Australia’s gun laws are again held up as an example to the US following the Florida school shooting, election disclosures reveal the pro-gun lobby is pumping thousands ... Read More »

Close up: the government’s facial recognition plan could reveal more than just your identity

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A Bill to set up the federal government’s biometric identity system is currently going through Parliament. Jake Goldenfein The Conversation But there are concerns over just how much information the system would be allowed to gather, and how that might be used to establish more than just the identity of a person. Strongly based on the FBI model in the United States, the Identity Matching Services Bill and its Explanatory Memoranda prescribe what data can be collected, shared and processed, ... Read More »