Child Rights

Nusrat Jahan Rafi: Burned to death for reporting sexual harassment

Nusrat Jahan Rafi was doused with kerosene and set on fire at her school in Bangladesh. Less than two weeks earlier, she had filed a sexual harassment complaint against her headmaster. By Mir Sabbir BBC Bengali, Dhaka Her courage in speaking out against sexual assault, her death five days after being set alight and everything that happened in-between has gripped Bangladesh and brought attention to the… Nusrat, who was 19, was from Feni, a small town 100 miles (160km) south ... Read More »

New study finds family violence is often poorly understood in faith communities

We learned this month that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged A$10 million in the federal budget for couples counselling and mediation for families impacted by domestic violence. Authors: The Conversation But the proposed policy runs counter to expert advice and evidence, which indicates that encouraging women to stay in relationships with an abuser exposes them to higher risk of harm. The announcement was swiftly condemned by family and domestic violence (FDV) advocates. Commentators have noted that an emphasis on ... Read More »

‘Now your life can start again’: Sharrouf children finally reunited with Sydney grandma

The orphaned children of notorious Islamic State terrorist Khaled Sharrouf have been reunited with their grandma Karen Nettleton. SBS A harrowing five-year journey came to an end when a Sydney grandma was finally reunited with her surviving grandchildren and great-grandchildren – the children of former IS fighter Khaled Sharrouf. ABC’s Four Corners captured the moment Karen Nettleton saw Zaynab, Hoda and Humzeh Sharrouf and her two great-grandchildren for the first time since they were taken by their mother, Tara Nettleton, to… ‘Now ... Read More »

‘I did as I was told’: $1 million lawsuit against Knox for child sex abuse

Greg Dubler was just 10 years old when he was sent to board at Knox, the prestigious private school on Sydney’s upper north shore. Peter FitzSimons and Rick Feneley The Sydney Morning Herald His parents were having marriage troubles and wanted to travel to Europe together to try to work things out. Their three sons, Martin, Robert and Greg, who had been Knox day boys, were sent to board at the school for three months in 1975. Greg was the ... Read More »

Big win for women’s reproductive freedom, but still a long way to go

This week saw a big win for women’s rights in Australia in the High Court. It is an historic step forward in the long journey for reproductive freedom for women in Australia. It’s also a timely reminder of how far we have to go. Adrianne Walters The Age In the 1970s, my nan, as a member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby, pushed for the decriminalisation of abortion. She knew what it felt like to discover a pregnancy and be powerless ... Read More »

South Korea abortion ban ‘unconstitutional’

South Korea’s ban on abortion has been ruled unconstitutional in a historic court decision. BBC The country’s constitutional court ordered that the law must be revised by the end of 2020. Under the 1953 ban, women who procured abortions could be fined and imprisoned, except in cases of rape or risk to their health. South Korea is one of the few developed countries to criminalise abortion. The abortion law was reviewed after a challenge from a female doctor who said ... Read More »

A public register of child sex offenders will do more harm than good

If politicians are looking for a sure fire vote winner then anything that punishes people convicted of sex offences does the trick. Greg Barns The Canberra Times So there is likely to be little resistance to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s budget announcement of $7.8 million to establish a National Public Register of Child Sex Offenders. Dutton is proposing that this register would allow all Australians to see names, aliases and photographs of sex offenders, as well as their date ... Read More »

The Catholic Church is not exempt from the laws of Australia

How much will it take for the Catholic Church to accept, openly, that it is, and always will be, subject to the laws of Australia? The Canberra Times ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsey was right to excoriate Catholic Archbishop Christopher Prowse, after the latter, currently head of the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese, confirmed his priests would not break the seal of confession to report child abuse. Archbishop Prowse told parishioners the priest hearing the confession would instead encourage the person to report the ... Read More »

Opinion: After Cardinal Pell verdict, Catholic Church must reform

Pope Francis once made George Pell one of the Vatican’s most powerful men. Now, the cardinal is headed to prison for sexual abuse. It is time for the Catholic Church to reform itself, says DW’s Christoph Strack. Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest ranking official who once served as the pope’s finance chief, was sentenced to six years behind bars on Wednesday for child sex abuse. The Australian is the most senior Catholic to ever be convicted of such crimes. Pell’s lawyers ... Read More »

Pell verdict: Judge Kidd got it absolutely right with the sentence

After the deafening storm of publicity surrounding the conviction of Cardinal George Pell, finally there was silence. Duncan Fine The Age For one hour Chief Judge Peter Kidd delivered his sentencing and the reasons behind it. Courtroom 3.3 of the Victorian County Court went quiet. Pell stood calmly, with his arms behind his back. The sentence was six years with a non-parole period of three years and eight months. Immediately, the storm started up again. Some groups representing abuse survivors ... Read More »

Lula was sexually abused as a child. One day, she’ll tell her children

One day in the future the time will come when Lula will tell her two young children about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. Kimberley Le Lievre The Canberra Times Until then, she prepares them as best she can for the reality that there are bad people in the world, without shattering their security. She teaches them to know what makes them feel uncomfortable and stand up for themselves, and to trust their intuition. But in particular she ... Read More »

My anger with George Pell has been replaced by immense sadness

I don’t see a monster. I see all the women and children and men and nuns and priests destroyed by shame, fear and lies Christos Tsiolkas The Guardian I  have been angry with Cardinal George Pell for a long time. That anger was first stirred by his absolute disdain for extending compassion to people living with Aids, and also by his refusal to accept queer people into Catholic fellowship. I was also made furious by his perverting of the teachings ... Read More »

Society is still failing in its duty of care to children in detention

The findings of the inquiry into child sexual abuse in custodial institutions make distressing but necessary reading Editorial Independent ” The report of the inquiry into the sexual abuse of children in custody is yet another cause of frustration that so much of our political and media attention is focused solely on Brexit. There are so many things wrong with Britain today that are barely affected by whether we are in or out of the European Union. Some of the hardest problems ... Read More »

Argentine 11-year-old’s C-section sparks new abortion debate

The girl had been raped but doctors delayed her abortion request until they were forced to do a caesarean section at 23 weeks. SBS A caesarean section carried out on an 11-year-old girl raped by her grandmother’s husband has reopened the debate about abortion in Argentina, where rules on pregnancy terminations are strict. “I want you to take out of my tummy what the old man put there,” the girl had said in a complaint lodged with authorities in the ... Read More »

Pope Francis Ends Landmark Sex Abuse Meeting With Strong Words, but Few Actions

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis ended a landmark Vatican meeting on clerical sexual abuse by calling “for an all-out battle against the abuse of minors” and insisting that the church needed to protect… By Jason Horowitz and Elizabeth Dias The New York Times But for all the vivid language and the vow “to combat this evil that strikes at the very heart of our mission,” the pope’s speech was short on the sort of detailed battle plan demanded by many ... Read More »

Armed conflict killed 870,000 young children over five years, report

At least 100,000 babies die every year because of factors including hunger, damaged hospitals and lack of aid, says Save the Children. SBS About 870,000 children under five may have died within five years as a result of armed conflict in the worst-affected countries, a new report finds. According to the ‘Stop War on Children’ report from Save the Children, the number is five times more than the 174,703 fighters estimated to have been killed in the same period between 2013 ... Read More »