Human Rights

Europe in pieces: Where voters disagree

How a divided Continent faces the 2019 election. By Ryan Heath, Arnau Busquets Guàrdia, Hanne Cokelaere and Hanna Pawelec Politico The European Parliament election in May is expected to produce a major turnover in political power in the EU’s institutions, with populist parties making new gains and voters across the bloc split on what issues to prioritize in the ballot.  But what are voters most concerned about and do they trust the European Union to deliver? Here’s a look at ... Read More »

Turkey’s Unjust Justice System: Armenian MP Under Attack

Turkish prosecutors have filed a motion to strip an Armenian lawmaker of his parliamentary immunity over his outspoken criticism of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute Invoking Article 301 of the Turkish penal code — which states that “insulting the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish nation or Turkish government institutions” is punishable by a prison sentence — the prosecutor’s office of Diyarbakir began proceedings against Garo Paylan, who was elected in 2015 to Turkey’s Grand ... Read More »

World’s 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%, says Oxfam

Charity calls for 1% wealth tax, saying it would raise enough to educate every child not in school Larry Elliott The Guardian The growing concentration of the world’s wealth has been highlighted by a report showing that the 26 richest billionaires own as many assets as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of the… In an annual wealth check released to mark the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the development charity Oxfam said 2018 had ... Read More »

Fleeing family violence to another country and taking your child is not ‘abduction’, but that’s how the law sees it

Fiona (not her real name) came to Australia from New Zealand as a 19-year-old backpacker. Gina Masterton The Conversation Here, she met a man, got married and had two boys. The domestic violence began after her first son’s birth, and Fiona endured it for several years. In 2017, when her children were eight and ten, Fiona summoned the strength to leave her husband. Not being an Australian citizen, she found she wasn’t eligible for government assistance, so Fiona fled back ... Read More »

Life as a child in Ireland: ‘Here’s phones. Here’s alcohol. Here’s weed’

NO CHILD 2020 IS AN INITIATIVE BY THE IRISH TIMES, PROVIDING A SUSTAINED FOCUS ON CHILD WELFARE AND CHILDREN’S ISSUES OVER THE COMING YEAR. ITS GOAL IS TO EXPLORE THE PROBLEMS FACING CHILDREN IN IRELAND TODAY, AND OFFER SOLUTIONS THAT WOULD MAKE THIS A BETTER COUNTRY TO BE A CHILD. HERE, FIVE YOUNG IRISH PEOPLE DISCUSS THEIR EARLY LIVES IN…  – SHELTER – Patrick Freyne is a features writer with The Irish Times Michael: ‘I was never parented. I was like ... Read More »

Why the West won’t act on China’s Uighur crisis

Western nations have criticized but failed to impose punitive measures for China’s internment of as many as one million Uighur Muslims in de facto concentration camps David Hutt Asia Times As evidence mounts of China’s internment of almost one million Muslim Uighurs in the country’s far western region, Western nations have largely failed to respond to the reported abuses, a… In what some critics have referred to as a campaign of “ethnic cleansing”, Chinese authorities have since late 2017 corralled ... Read More »

There’s a Good Reason Many Jewish Women Will Be Joining the Women’s March

We feel it’s where we belong. Sarah M. Seltzer The Nation Following the debate over anti-Semitism and the Women’s March has felt like having a year-long front-row seat to a soliloquy by Fiddler on the Roof’s conflicted Tevye: on the one hand, on the other hand, on the other hand. On the one hand, the attacks against the Women’s March leadership, especially Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, cannot be untangled from many critics’ clear discomfort with women in power, especially ... Read More »

Nauru doctor wins global free speech award for speaking out on offshore immigration

Nick Martin’s medical attention and advocacy saw asylum seekers transferred to Australia for treatment, but ultimately cost him his job Ben Doherty The Guardian A doctor on Nauru who blew the whistle on the deliberate medical neglect of refugees and asylum seekers on the island has been awarded a global award for free speech. Dr Nick Martin, the former senior medical officer for International Health and Medical Services on Nauru, spoke out publicly against what he described as Australia’s “inflexible, unswerving, and shameless” ... Read More »

Rahaf al Qunun pledges to use her freedom to campaign for others after being granted asylum in Canada

In a week, Rahaf al Qunun has gone from being barricaded inside a Bangkok airport hotel room to being the most recognised refugee on the planet. Sophie McNeill ABC After landing in Toronto on Saturday, she has spent the last 48 hours trying to come to terms with the incredible events of the past week. The 18-year-old fled her Saudi family while visiting Kuwait, before flying to Bangkok on January 5. She had a valid visa to Australia, but was… ... Read More »

Starving Syria mum sets self, kids on fire after failing to find food

A starving Syrian mother in a refugee camp on the Jordanian border has set herself and her three children on fire after failing to find food for three days. AAP – SBS A Syrian mother has attempted to burn herself and her children to death at a refugee camp in eastern Syria after she failed to find food for her family for three straight days, a civil defence spokesman says. Sundus Fathallah, 28, set herself and her three starving children ... Read More »

‘Real risk’ of refugees freezing to death in Syria after rains destroy shelters

As temperatures fall, aid workers warn of danger to at least 11,000 people across Idlib, with storms also battering camps in Lebanon Rebecca Ratcliffe The Guardian At least 11,000 child refugees and their families are facing a weekend of freezing temperatures with no shelter, after torrential rains across Syria’s Idlib province swept away tents and belongings. Aid workers warn there is a real risk people will simply freeze to death as temperatures have already dropped to -1C, amid a shortage of ... Read More »

Rights of prisoners with intellectual disabilities must be respected

Study exposes shortcomings in treatment of prisoners with IDs, treatment they are entitled to George Winter The Irish Times In 2006, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted, promoting autonomy, choice, independence, equality and participation. The CRPD includes provision for those with intellectual disability (ID). This is typically diagnosed if individuals have an IQ below 70; an impaired ability to effectively interact with society on all levels and care for themselves; and have had developmental ... Read More »

Rahaf and Hakeem: why has one refugee captured the world’s attention while another is left in jail?

When it comes to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun and Hakeem al-Araibi, the reasons are varied but likely include the age-old non-science of what makes news and what doesn’t Helen Davidson The Guardian Australia, Thailand and the Gulf states have been inextricably linked in two global news stories lately, when two young people faced being forcibly returned to the places and people they fled simply because they happened to step foot in Bangkok. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year-old Saudi woman, was on ... Read More »

Why Australia should not have a public register of child sex offenders

To many, “sex offender” conjures a specific image: stranger abduction, child victim, sexual assault, murder. Danielle Harris Brisbane Times Such horrible things do happen but’s it extraordinarily rare. It’s so horrible that it makes the news. And it happens so rarely that it makes the news every time it happens, and when it happens it shakes us to our core. As a child, I was keenly aware of the fates of Sian Kingi and then of Ebony Simpson, and of ... Read More »

Are women escaping family violence overseas considered refugees?

Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun’s story has travelled around the world this week, highlighting Saudi Arabia’s repressive treatment of women and that not only those who seek asylum by… Tamara Wood The Conversation For now, al-Qunun remains in Thailand, and it’s been reported the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) has deemed her to be a refugee. Australia has said it will consider granting her asylum. Reports say al-Qunun fears, if she is returned to Saudi Arabia, she will be abused and ... Read More »

Australia’s 2018 Human Rights Performance Slammed

The Australian government’s human rights approach to refugees, Indigenous people and those with disability has been slammed by an annual review, which warns that Australia is at risk of … Luke Michael ProBono Australian Lawyers for Human Rights’ (ALHR) 2018 Human Rights Report Card scored Australia poorly on key areas including Indigenous rights (F-), refugees and people seeking asylum (F) and… While the federal government was praised for introducing a Modern Slavery Act, the review noted Australia faced persistent criticism by multiple United ... Read More »