Human Rights

How radio can help empower women in Niger

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Mariama is 23. At the age of 15, she was married to a local religious leader twice her age. She now has two babies, is a second wife, and stays at home doing “nothing”. Emma Heywood The Conversation Her childhood dream of becoming a doctor faded many years ago. She is not alone. Women in Niger suffer from widespread gender inequality, and child marriage is common. The latter is covered by the Civil Code, with a minimum age of 18 ... Read More »

A 6-Year-Old Girl Was Sexually Abused in an Immigrant-Detention Center

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Separated from her mother by Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, the child was forced to sign a statement confirming that she understood it was her responsibility to stay away from her abuser. Ari Honarvar The Nation According to immigrant-rights advocates, a 6-year-old girl separated from her mother under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy was sexually abused while at an… The child was then made to sign a form acknowledging that she was told to maintain her distance from her alleged abuser, ... Read More »

‘A huge win’: New Zealand brings in paid domestic violence leave

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MPs cheer after legislation passes to tackle what one called ‘horrifying’ rates of family violence Eleanor Ainge Roy, in Dunedin The Guardian New Zealand has passed legislation granting victims of domestic violence 10 days paid leave to allow them to leave their partners, find new homes and protect themselves and their children. MPs clapped and cheered as bill passed on Wednesday night with 63 votes to 57. It is the result of seven years of work by Green MP Jan ... Read More »

Japan executes six cult members

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Japan on July 26 executed six more members of the cult behind the deadly 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subway, weeks after the group’s leader was hanged. TOKYO – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa confirmed that the six Aum Shinrikyo cult members remaining on death row had been executed on July 26. “I ordered the executions after extremely careful consideration,” she said at a press conference. The executions come after authorities hanged “guru” Shoko Asahara and six of his one-time… ... Read More »

Sexual consent must be ‘actively communicated’: CLC NSW

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Community Legal Centres NSW has argued that, unless consent is explicitly given, there should be no assumption of its presence. Jerome Doraisamy LawyersWeekly In its submission to the NSW Law Reform Commission regarding the review of consent in relation to sexual assault, CLC NSW identified that, as it stands, section 61HA of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) does not stipulate a requirement for affirmative consent, and it must explicitly state as… “In most sexual assault cases, the matter being proven ... Read More »

Sexual Violence by the Burmese Military Against Ethnic Minorities

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Testimony of Skye Wheeler at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Co-Chairmen Representatives McGovern and Hultgren and members of the commission, thank you for the opportunity to testify at today’s hearing on human rights and the use of sexual violence by the Burmese military against ethnic minorities in Burma. HRW Human Rights Watch has conducted research on the human rights situation in Burma for more than 25 years, focusing on abuses against political dissidents and media, as well as laws-of-war ... Read More »

How to reduce slavery in seafood supply chains

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Seafood is one of the most-traded foods in the world. The sector employs at least 260 million workers globally, and some 3 billion people rely on seafood as a primary source of protein. Trevor J Ward The Conversation The US State Department and other credible sources have consistently identified the seafood sector as a significant contributor to the global incidence of modern slavery. Widespread forced labour has been reported in the seafood industry in 47 countries. Part of the problem ... Read More »

Patriotic songs and self-criticism: why China is ‘re-educating’ Muslims in mass detention camps

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China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies their existence. But extensive reporting by international media and human rights groups indicates upwards of hundreds of thousands of Uighurs — a… The Conversation By Michael Clarke ABC The camps are not only massive, with some exceeding 10,000 square metres, but have also been likened to prison-like compounds, with, “reinforced security doors and windows, surveillance systems… The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China calls it, “The largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the ... Read More »

Torture is ‘Systemic and Endemic’ in Azerbaijan

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Torture Prevention Body Publishes Damning Reports Torture in Azerbaijan by police and other law enforcement agencies is “systemic and endemic,” according to a report from the Council of Europe’s torture prevention body. Giorgi Gogia HRW The report by The Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), based on six visits to Azerbaijan from 2004 through 2017, documented repeated cases of “severe physical ill-treatment” of… The cases appeared to follow a consistent pattern: mostly ... Read More »

Swedish student prevents deportation of Afghan asylum seeker by refusing to sit down on flight

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Live stream of Elin Ersson’s dramatic protest shows how she stands her ground against flight crew and fellow passengers, before her efforts are finally applauded in emotional scenes Adam Withnall Independent A student activist in Sweden single-handedly prevented the deportation of an asylum seeker to Afghanistan, by refusing to sit down on the plane that was due to take him out of the country. Elin Ersson started live-streaming her dramatic protest after flight attendants demanded she sit down for departure and tried to take away ... Read More »

Children mining cobalt in slave-like conditions as global demand for battery material surges

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If you have not spared a thought for cobalt since high school science, then it might be time. It is having a boom, and the modern world is increasingly reliant on it — using it to stabilise batteries in phones, computers and electric cars; in fact, it is probably in the device you are using right now. The Signal – By Angela Lavoipierre, Stephen Smiley and Lin Evlin ABC But there is a catch. Cobalt is mined in a string of ... Read More »

Rare witness to horror of Stalin’s Gulag prisons dies

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A rare survivor of the harshest Stalin-era labour camps has died aged 89 in Russia’s far east. BBC Vasily Kovalyov had survived icy punishment cells and beatings in the USSR’s notorious Gulag prison system. During an escape attempt in 1954 he spent five months hiding in a freezing mine with two other prisoners. Kovalyov’s story was featured in Vesma, a news site based in Magadan. The communist regime shipped thousands of “enemies” to prison camps via Magadan. In 1950 Kovalyov, ... Read More »

How Australian media are changing the way they report violence against women

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Recently in Australia there has been a horrific wave of murders of women and children. But, in the aftermath of the #metoo movement, we have seen a change in the way the media are reporting violence against women. Annie Blatchford The Conversation Witness the reporting of the murder of Eurydice Dixon, followed by the abduction and rape of a woman in Carlton, murder-suicides in Western Australia and Sydney and the murders of two women in Melbourne in one weekend. Over ... Read More »

2017 was deadliest year for environmental activism: report

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At least 207 activists were killed, with Brazil, the Philippines and Colombia named as the most dangerous countries. Charlotte Mitchell AlJazeera Nearly four land and environmental activists were killed each week in 2017, making it the deadliest year on record, according to a new report by Global Witness. In the report, published on Tuesday, the UK-based watchdog said 207 people lost their lives last year in their fight against companies and governments that seize land and harm the environment. Latin America was once ... Read More »

UN delivers strong rebuke to Australian government on women’s rights

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This week, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women handed down its recommendations from its review of Australia’s compliance with the women’s rights treaty, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Authors: The Conversation The UN delivered a scathing critique of Australia’s failures to protect and promote the rights of women and girls. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women is a UN treaty body, made up of ... Read More »

Mexican anti-poverty program targeting poor women may help men most, study finds

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Economic empowerment programs that target women may have an unintended effect: They help men instead. Nora Haenn The Conversation A growing number of economic development programs worldwide provide cash specifically to women in poor communities. Giving women access to money empowers them, the theory goes. And empowered women – especially mothers – can lift entire families out of poverty. Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for launching a microloan program just for women. Nine Indian states ... Read More »