Human Rights

Nauru hunger strike: 12-year-old boy at imminent risk of dying

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Island staff report a looming children’s health crisis ahead of Pacific Islands Forum Ben Doherty The Guardian A 12-year-old refugee boy on hunger strike on Nauru for more than a fortnight is at imminent risk of dying, medical staff on the island say, but efforts to move him to hospital care in Australia have foundered. He is one of several critical child cases on the island – including a 14-year-old boy with muscle wastage so severe he may never walk normally again, ... Read More »

£100m plan to take thousands of homeless people off the streets

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The PM aims to help homeless people “turn their lives around”, but charities warn the new strategy will not provide a “total fix”. By Joe Tidy, news correspondent SkyNews A £100m government plan to halve rough sleeping in England by 2022 and eradicate it by 2027 has been launched. Thousands of rough sleepers will be offered rapid specialist assessments and support, as part of a package of new measures announced by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire. The Rough Sleeping Strategy will ... Read More »

China Uighurs: Beijing denies detaining one million

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China has said reports it is holding a million Muslim Uighurs in detention in Xinjiang are “completely untrue”. BBC Uighurs enjoyed full rights but “those deceived by religious extremism… shall be assisted by resettlement and re-education”, officials said. The rare admission from Beijing – at a UN meeting in Geneva – came in response to concerns that the region “resembles a massive internment camp”. Xinjiang has seen intermittent violence – followed by crackdowns – for years. China accuses Islamist… China ... Read More »

Argentina retains strict abortion laws by rejecting elective procedures

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Argentina’s decision to retain its stringent abortion laws has left Latin America and the Caribbean with some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. ABC Argentine senators this week narrowly rejected a bill to legalise abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, overcoming support for a surging abortion rights movement in the homeland of Pope Francis. The Senate’s 38-31 vote against the proposed legislation could echo across Latin America, where anti-abortion forces remains strong even if the ... Read More »

Tennessee carries out execution of Billy Ray Irick with controversial lethal injection drugs

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Tennessee has carried out the execution of a man condemned for the 1985 rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl, marking the first time the state has applied the death penalty in nearly a decade. ABC Inmate Billy Ray Irick, 59 — convicted in 1986 in the death of Paula Dyer, a Knoxville girl he was babysitting — was the first to receive a controversial new three-drug lethal cocktail. Irick had been a boarder in the home where the girl ... Read More »

Iran’s Judiciary Threatens Executions for Economic ‘Crimes’

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Implementing the Death Penalty is Wrong Response to Economic Crisis Tara Sepehri Far HRW Iran’s senior officials are attempting to head off a looming economic crisis – triggered by the return of US sanctions – with threats of new rights-abusing policies. Tehran’s prosecutor, Jafari Dolatabadi, on Wednesday warned that importers who abuse government subsidies could be charged with “corruption on earth,” which carries a possible death sentence. Several hardliner newspapers and parliamentarians have echoed Dolatabadi’s call to execute people found ... Read More »

Venezuela crisis: Brazil briefly shuts border to migrants

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Brazil has re-opened its northern border with Venezuela to those fleeing economic and political turmoil there, after briefly closing it. BBC The Supreme Court overturned an earlier order to shut the frontier until Brazil could put in place the right conditions to receive the huge influx of people. Authorities in the state of Roraima in Brazil’s Amazon region say some 500 Venezuelans cross the border every day. The border was re-opened to Venezuelan migrants after a few hours on Monday. ... Read More »

Undeterred by violence, students close Dhaka’s roads to demand justice

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Dhaka: Thousands of Bangladeshi students have vowed to stay on the streets protesting until their government agrees to demands for improved road safety and justice for those who died in… Julfikar Ali Manik The Canberra Times Thousands of students paralysed parts of Bangladesh’s capital on Sunday to protest the country’s abysmal road safety conditions. Teenagers dressed in school uniforms erected checkpoints across the city, forcing the police and government ministers to observe traffic laws that are otherwise poorly enforced. Shahidul Alam, ... Read More »

Children who have lost a parent to family violence need to be listened to

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Around the world, at least one in seven homicides are committed by a current or former intimate partner. Eva Alisic The Conversation In the United States, estimates suggest that, each year, a child may be more likely to lose a parent (the mother, in most cases) to intimate partner homicide than to be diagnosed with leukaemia. Many of these children witness the killing or its direct aftermath, often involving graphic scenes. Some try to intervene in whatever way they can. ... Read More »

Sorry, men, there’s no such thing as ‘dirt blindness’ – you just need to do more housework

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The problem with housework is that it is never-ending drudgery. As soon as the floor is cleaned, the dog throws up, the kids spill slime ingredients into the wood grain, and the tradie walks through the house with well-oiled work boots. And the cycle begins again. Authors: The Conversation The Danish use the word hygge to describe the feeling of cosiness, warmth, and comfort that a well-kept house is supposed to provide. Yet creating this pleasant environment requires work and, ... Read More »

Migrant kids were stripped, drugged, locked away. So much for compassion.

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WHEN ACCOUNTS of abuse emerged in June from a detention center for migrant minors in Virginia — children as young as 14 stripped naked, shackled, strapped to chairs, their heads encased in bags, left for days or longer in solitary confinement, and in some cases beaten and… Editorial Board The Washington Post This institution, the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, near Staunton, couldn’t possibly be in America. And if it was, it had to be an extreme outlier — a place ... Read More »

Report: Church leaders pressured victims, cops over abuse

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A grand jury investigating clergy sex abuse in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses found that church leaders were more interested in preventing scandal than… Mark Scolforo RNS The grand jury’s full, nearly 900-page, report is expected to be released in the next two weeks. But a court filing made public Friday, resolving one of many legal disputes over the report, included excerpts from the… According to the document, the grand jury concluded that victims were “brushed ... Read More »

‘Medicare for all’ is a pipe dream

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A new study released by Charles Blahous at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has received a lot of attention this week. Dr. Marc Siegel The Hill It concludes that the “Medicare for all” proposal endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and others would “increase federal budget commitments by approximately $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years of full implementation.” The study goes on to point out that “doubling all currently projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections would be insufficient to ... Read More »

Can you be Christian and support the death penalty?

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Pope Francis has declared the death penalty “inadmissible.” This means that the death penalty should not be used in any circumstance. Mathew Schmalz The Conversation It also alters the Catholic Catechism, a compendium of Catholic doctrine, and is now binding on Roman Catholics throughout the… But in spite of his definitive statement, Pope Francis’ act will probably only deepen the debate about whether Christians can support capital punishment. As a Catholic scholar who writes about religion, politics and policy, I ... Read More »

Four Years on, Evidence of ISIS Crimes Lost to Time

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Iraq Should Exhume Yezidi Mass Graves Before Islamic State (also known as ISIS) fighters descended on Sinjar, Iraq in August 2014, the area was home to 360,000 Yezidis. Belkis Wille HRW Today, at least 90 percent of the Yezidi population has been displaced, after fleeing an ISIS onslaught that killed between 2,000 and 5,500 Yezidis. Additionally, ISIS fighters abducted an estimated 6,300 Yezidis and even forced their women and girls into a system of organized rape and sexual slavery… Four Years on… Read More »

Blood, soil and paper: Thailand’s mission to reduce statelessness

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Last month’s epic rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team from a cave in northern Thailand gripped the world. Janepicha Cheva-Isarakul The Conversation When it emerged that some of the boys are stateless, the news headlines changed in subtle ways from “Thai boys in the cave” to “boys in Thai cave”. Amid the widespread joy over the successful operation, the rescue has drawn attention to the broader issue of statelessness in Thailand. My research into the lives of stateless youth ... Read More »