Human Rights

The Human Rights Situation in North Korea – Remarks by José Ramos-Horta (Seoul, 11th November)

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SEOUL DIALOGUE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS The Human Rights Situation in North Korea Remarks By José Ramos-Horta (*) Seoul, 11th November 2015 Ambassador Lee Jung-Hun, Distinguished Speakers, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a pleasure to be again in Seoul since my participation in the various events marking the 70th Anniversary of the founding of ROK’s and of the end of World War II, hosted by KBSTV on 24th August. The people of ROK can be proud of the extraordinary progress they made ... Read More »

Reining in the NT’s paperless arrests is progress towards Indigenous liberty

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The high court did not invalidate the ‘catch and release’ paperless arrest laws on Wednesday, but it did limit their operation – a step in the right direction The Guardian – Jonathon Hunyor and Ruth Barson Kumanjayi Langdon’s funeral will be held next week at Yuendemu in the Northern Territory. He was a much loved and respected Warlpiri elder. He died in May, alone in a Darwin police cell, after being locked up under the Northern Territory’s controversial “paperless arrest” ... Read More »

More Christmas Island secrecy from Coalition

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Editorial Aside from its legal and moral ambiguities, Australia’s policy of detaining asylum-seekers in offshore facilities has been extravagantly priced, with billions of dollars spent on building and administering camps on Christmas Island, Manus and Nauru. And another $10 million was added to the bill this week when detainees at Christmas Island rioted after an Iranian Kurd asylum seeker escaped and later died. Fires were lit, equipment destroyed, and common areas trashed. Only after extra security was brought in from the ... Read More »

Human rights and the cost of justice

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Letters In her Opinion piece (We will all suffer in Gove’s war on Europe’s judges, 9 November), Zoe Williams writes: “Justice and costs cannot be pitted against one another: justice must be considered on its own terms and cost must be borne by the state that wishes to call itself just.” The Guardian But we have no more right to the best possible justice regardless of cost than we have to the best possible healthcare regardless of cost. Resource limitation ... Read More »

Ten things you should know about the gender pay gap

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Pay Laura Bates on everyday sexism Sick of hearing ‘women shouldn’t have babies if they’re going to complain’? Here are some myth-busting truths about unequal pay The Guardian – Laura Bates According to the Fawcett Society, 9 November marked Equal Pay Day – the date from which women in Britain effectively work for free until the end of the year, due to the 14.2% gender pay gap. Myths and misconceptions still persist around unequal pay. (This week alone I’ve heard “the ... Read More »

International community condemns Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers during major human rights review at UN

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Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers received unprecedented condemnation from the international community as the Government appeared before the Human Rights Council in Geneva overnight for its major four yearly human rights review in a process known as the ‘Universal Periodic Review’. Australia was questioned by 107 countries with at least 60 recommendations criticising Australia’s policies on asylum seekers and refugees. The Human Rights Law Centre’s Director of Advocacy and Litigation, Anna Brown, said that Australia’s efforts to demonstrate leadership on ... Read More »

Terrible news from Christmas Island today

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Fazal, a gentle man who never hurt anyone, is now dead under suspicious circumstances. Fazal is a Stateless Failli Kurd who arrived in Australia by boat in October 2010. By Pamela Curr He was given refugee status – Refugee positive, Security positive. Waited in detention for years – no reason- eventually told that he was POI (person of Interest) because of an incident in Curtin. In desperation after three years in detention with no information as to why,  he jumped ... Read More »

Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds

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Religious belief appears to have negative influence on children’s altruism and judgments of others’ actions even as parents see them as ‘more empathetic’ The Guardian – Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent @harrietsherwood Children from religious families are less kind and more punitive than those from non-religious households, according to a new study. Academics from seven universities across the world studied Christian, Muslim and non-religious children to test the relationship between religion and morality. They found that religious belief is a negative ... Read More »

Australia in the hot seat at UN human rights review in Geneva

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Australia’s human rights performance will face intense scrutiny next week as the Government appears before the Human Rights Council in Geneva for its major four yearly human rights review. At the “Universal Periodic Review” (UPR) other countries will have the opportunity to question Australia about its human rights record and make a series of recommendations for improvement. The Human Rights Law Centre’s Director of Advocacy and Litigation, Anna Brown, said Australia can expect to face a grilling. “There’s no doubt ... Read More »

EU sees three million migrants arriving by 2017

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Three million migrants fleeing war and poverty are seen entering the EU by 2017 in a development likely to have a marginal positive impact on the economy, the European Commission said Nov. 5. Hurriyet – BRUSSELS – Agence France-Presse In its first ever assessment of the economic effect of Europe’s biggest migration crisis since World War II, the Commission said the influx could boost gross domestic product by 0.2 to 0.3 percent. EU economic commissioner Pierre Moscovici said the “weak ... Read More »

Respecting religious freedom has become more complex, Tim Wilson says

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Human rights commissioner says ensuring people’s freedom to observe their faith is vital, as is protecting ‘religious freedom of those with or without belief’ The Guardian – Australian Associated Press The Coalition-appointed human rights commissioner, Tim Wilson, says the challenge of respecting religious freedom is becoming more complex, but that preserving religious freedom in a pluralistic multi-faith society is critical. Speaking ahead of an inaugural round table on religious freedom in Sydney on Thursday, Wilson said protecting religious freedom was ... Read More »

Iran’s regime joins campaign against actress who posted images without wearing a hijab

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Sadaf Taherian fled to the United Arab Emirates after she was criticised for sharing images without the Muslim head covering The Telegraph – By Ahmed Vahdat Iran’s regime has joined the campaign against a leading actress who released photographs of herself without a veil, questioning the woman’s mental balance and calling her an “offender”. Sadaf Taherian was forced to flee to the United Arab Emirates last week after being criticised for publishing pictures on social media showing her without the ... Read More »

Geert Wilders and the ALA do not stand for liberty – they undermine it

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Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician famed for his anti-immigration views, recently launched the Australian Liberty Alliance, a political party whose platform calls for banning Muslim migration to Australia. While there is no denying that radical Muslims exist in our community and overseas, Wilders and the ALA’s call to ban Muslim immigration amount to a call for tyranny of a different kind: a tyranny that denies individuals the right to live and migrate here merely because of their religious background. I ... Read More »

Australia’s obsession with border protection has reached peak farce with the Kyrgyzstan plan

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Destination Kyrgyzstan: the latest troubled country Australia wants to send refugees If an obscure and impoverished survivor of the Soviet Union is seriously on a list of possible places in which to dump those who sought Australia’s help, our perverse obsession with border protection has reached peak farce. The Sydney Morning Herald – Tim Dick, Columnist * Kyrgyzstan is the land-locked country so roundly criticised for its human rights abuses that its election last week to the United Nation’s Human ... Read More »

Sisi comes to London: why is David Cameron welcoming Egypt’s autocrat to the UK?

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In 2011, the British prime minister hailed democracy in Tahrir Square. Now he is receiving Abdel Fatah al-Sisi with open arms. What is a man who has overseen the state killings of more than 2,500 political opponents doing at Downing Street? The Guardian – Jack Shenker In footage recorded by news cameras, you can see David Cameron – flanked by a large security team – threading his way through the flag sellers and nut vendors and the amiable mayhem of ... Read More »

No laughing matter as Andrew Denton returns from hiatus to talk about dying

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Andrew Denton first met Ray Godbold around a year ago. So did I. We each came down to Inverloch, independently, for his story. The Age – Konrad Marshall, Senior writer Ray was a brilliant palliative care nurse, struck down by terminal gastro-oesophageal cancer. As a medical professional he knew the often nasty and tactile way our lives can end, and as an activist he took a stand by going public in sourcing an illegal drug to hasten his own death and ... Read More »