Human Rights

Manus Island cartoonist Eaten Fish in safety in ICORN residency

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Award winning Iranian cartoonist Ali Dorani, known as Eaten Fish, has left Papa New Guinea and is now in safety. ICORN  Dorani has spent the past four years in a refugee detention camp on Manus Island, Papua New Guniea. “I have left PNG. It was a long journey but I am safe now. I am thinking about my friends in Manus Island and Port Moresby. Thank you to my supporters and people who worked to make this journey happen.” Statement ... Read More »

Health for All: The benefits of universal health coverage

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In much of the world today, the notion of equitable, universal access to health care remains a distant dream. Anthony Lake The Asahi Shimbun But universal health coverage is not unattainable–and Japan is among the inspiring countries that have proved it. For many years, Japan has been a leader in the movement to provide everyone with access to quality health care. Every human being, everywhere, deserves this, and every society benefits from it. Having achieved universal health coverage for its ... Read More »

Melbourne archbishop says he’d rather go to jail than report child abuse heard in confession

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Denis Hart says ‘communication with God is of a higher order’ after child sex abuse inquiry calls for failure to report to become a criminal offence Melissa Davey and agencies The Guardian The archbishop of the archdiocese of Melbourne, Denis Hart, said he would risk going to jail rather than report allegations of child sexual abuse raised during confession, and that the sacredness of communication with God during confession should be above the… He was responding to a report from the child ... Read More »

Royal commission recommends sweeping reforms for Catholic Church to end child abuse

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The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been dominated by abuses perpetrated in the Roman Catholic Church. Timothy W. Jones Its final report bears enduring witness to abuse on a horrific scale. The Conversation The commission constitutes the most sophisticated and thorough investigation yet into abuse within the Catholic Church globally. Its recommendations are breathtakingly bold. They provide the most comprehensive pathway so far, to redress and prevent abuse in an institution that has had endemic ... Read More »

6,700 Rohingya killed in first month of Myanmar violence: MSF

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“At least 6,700 Rohingya, in the most conservative estimations, are estimated to have been killed, including at least 730 children below the age of five,” MSF said Dec. 14. YANGON – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The group’s findings come from six surveys of more than 11,426 people in Rohingya refugee camps and cover the first month after the crisis erupted. “We met and spoke with survivors of violence in Myanmar, who are now sheltering in overcrowded and unsanitary camps in Bangladesh,” ... Read More »

British troops breached Geneva conventions in Iraq, high court rules

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Court says soldiers subjected civilians to cruel and inhuman treatment, in cases that may determine handling of further claims Ian Cobain The Guardian British troops breached the Geneva conventions and subjected Iraqi civilians to cruel and inhuman treatment by hooding them and taking turns to run over their backs, the high court has ruled. Furthermore, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) breached the conventions as well as the 1998 Human Rights Act in the way in which it detained civilians after the 2003 invasion, the ... Read More »

Why rights must trump politics if new global plans on refugees and migrants are to make a difference

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The world has a chance to strike a bold agreement in 2018 that could improve the lives of refugees and migrants, but only if world leaders put aside the politics that often plagues debate on these issues and focus on people’s fundamental rights. Heaven Crawley Katharine Jones It’s been more than a year since leaders came together in September 2016 at the UN to try and bolster international cooperation on migration and refugee issues. The Conversation The resulting New York ... Read More »

‘Feminism’ is Merriam-Webster dictionary’s word of year

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A leading US dictionary has named “feminism” as its word of 2017 following a surge in online searches BBC Merriam-Webster said interest in the term was driven by women’s marches, new TV shows and films on women’s issues and the string of news stories on sexual assault and harassment claims. The number of people searching for the word was up 70% on 2016, it said. The dictionary defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of ... Read More »

Bangladesh arrests cleric over fatwa against women farming

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A Muslim cleric accused of issuing a fatwa banning women from working on farms has been arrested in Bangladesh, police said on Dec. 13. DHAKA Hurriyet The imam and five mosque officials face charges after their announcement prompted locals in the western town of Kumarkhali to try and prevent women from going to work in the fields. “They took the decision after prayers on Dec. 8, banning women from going out of their homes,” local police chief Abdul Khaleque told ... Read More »

France is banning mobile phones in schools

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On Sunday, France’s education minister announced that mobile phones will be banned from primary, junior, and middle schools, calling it a matter of “public health.” Jenny Anderson World Economic Forum While phones are already prohibited in classrooms in France, starting in September 2018 students won’t be allowed to use them on breaks, at lunch, or between lessons either. “These days, the children don’t play at break time anymore,” Jean-Michel Blanquer said, according to the Local, an English-language publication. “They are ... Read More »

Government moves to curb modern slavery

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Slavery is the world’s second-biggest illicit market In the past, slaves were shackled in metal chains. Editorial Today, they are exploited in supply chains. The Sydney Morning Herald It might have been thought that slavery was a shameful but pretty much closed chapter of history. It’s not. It is the world’s second-biggest illicit market, behind drugs, with an estimated 45 million children, women and men treated as commodities (average price about $90). Forced labour generates an estimated $US150 billion  ($199b) ... Read More »

Locals threaten violence against Manus Island asylum seekers at new accommodation

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Asylum seekers on Manus Island say local people are threatening to kill them after they moved into new accommodation in the island’s town Eric Tlozek ABC The men have provided video evidence of local men — who appear to be drunk — coming to their accommodation and threatening them. In one incident, in the early hours of the morning on December 10, a group of four men approached the main gate of the West Haus accommodation compound. A video filmed ... Read More »

The Warlock Hunt

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Moral Panics The #MeToo moment has now morphed into a moral panic that poses as much danger to women as it does to men #Metoo, of course. CLAIRE BERLINSKI  Women are not going nuts for no reason. The American Interest We’re fed up with feeling prickles down our spine as we walk alone on dimly lit streets. Fed up with thinking, “If he feels entitled to send me that message, what might he feel entitled to do to if he knew where ... Read More »

Syrian boys caught in ‘vicious cycle’ of sex abuse: UN

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Syrian men and boys, in their war-torn country and abroad, have suffered “a vicious cycle” of sexual abuse with more devastating consequences than previously reported, the United Nations said on Dec. 7. BEIRUT – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet In its new report, “We Keep it in our Heart,” the UN’s refugee agency said it had documented widespread sexual violence against Syrian males, including those seeking refuge. “There have been documented reports of how Syrian women and girls have suffered sexual violence ... Read More »

Fast-track assessment fundamentally unfair to refugees, high court told

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Legal Aid Victoria argues those who arrive by boat are treated as second-class in first high court challenge to new regime Calla Wahlquist  The Guardian Legal Aid Victoria has challenged the “fundamental unfairness” of the fast-tracked refugee assessment process in the high court, arguing that it treats those who arrived by boat as second class. The one-day hearing on Thursday focused on the case of an Iranian asylum seeker in his mid-20s whose application for a temporary protection visa was ... Read More »

Ten things Australia can do to be a human rights hero

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Sunday is Human Rights Day. December 10 marks 69 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Carolien van Ham Lisa Hill Louise Chappell With the 70th anniversary coming up in 2018, the UN has launched Stand Up 4 Human Rights, a year-long campaign to bring the ideals of the declaration closer to reality. The Conversation As a leader in the framing of the UN declaration and one of the ... Read More »