Human Rights

US only country in the world to vote against work of UN refugee agency

‘We will detain and prosecute those who enter US territory illegally,’ American ambassador says Harry Cockburn Independent The US has rejected a United Nations resolution on the work of the organisation’s refugee agency (UNHCR), amid American concerns over the document’s provision for immigrants and refugees. It was the only country to block the resolution on Tuesday, with US ambassador for economic and social affairs Kelley Currie saying it would not accept the draft text because parts of the document did ... Read More »

Justin Trudeau Conflating BDS With Anti-Semitism Is Dangerous

As Canadian scholars, we urge Trudeau to retract his wrong-spirited comments that demonize the work students, community members and activists have done. Sarah Ghabrial and Elena Razlogova HuffPost On November 7, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a well overdue apologyon behalf of all Canadians for the rejection of the MS St. Louis in 1939. Canada’s refusal to allow more than 900 refugees, mostly German Jews fleeing Nazism, to disembark at Halifax was only one part of a systematic government effort to ... Read More »

Friday essay: turning up the level of civilisation

In October 2005 Stephen Colbert was just starting his eponymous show. It is somewhat chilling to realise that this was when he came up with the word truthiness: it seems so now. Julianne Schultz The Conversation It has taken a while to reach maturity and morphed into the even more menacing trumpiness. Truthiness captures the slippery world inhabited by those unencumbered by books, or facts, context or complexity – for those who just know with their heart rather than their ... Read More »

Mike Pence issues rebuke to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi over ‘persecution’ of Rohingya Muslims

US Vice President Mike Pence has issued his strongest condemnation yet of Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims warning leader Aung San Suu Kyi that “persecution” by her country’s army was “without excuse.” Sophie Williams Evening Standard He met with the Myanmar leader on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific summit in Singapore. While sitting next to the Myanmar leader, he said: “The violence and persecution by military and vigilantes that resulted in driving 700,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh is without ... Read More »

Iran executes two men accused of illicit gold coin trading

Iran executed two men accused of economic crimes on Nov. 14, part of an effort to stem financial misconduct as the country faces an economic crisis and new U.S. sanctions targeting its oil sector. GENEVA – Reuters Hurriyet One of the two executed men was Vahid Mazloumin, dubbed the “sultan of coins” by media, a trader accused of manipulating the currency market, according to Mizan, the news site of the Iranian judiciary. Mazloumin was allegedly caught with two tons of gold coins, according ... Read More »

Rohingya gripped by fear as repatriation to Myanmar begins

As a bilateral agreement to return Rohingya refugees to Myanmar is set to take effect, there have been unconfirmed reports of refugees disappearing from camps to avoid a forced return to the… Wesley Rahn DW In October, a UN fact-finding mission said that that an“ongoing genocide” is still taking place in Myanmar against the Rohingya, a Muslim minority group living in the country’s western Rakhine… On November 15, despite warnings from the UN and aid organizations, the final phase of a ... Read More »

Dr Azeem Ibrahim: Where the far-right goes wrong about Pakistani paedophile gangs

Ethnicity does not seem to play a significant role in rates of child sex abuse despite recent high-profile cases involving men of Pakistani origins; instead, what is unusual about their behaviour is the… Dr Azeem Ibrahim The Scotsman Shocking grooming scandals involving Pakistani men have created another tense moment in the history of race relations in the UK, And there really is a deep problem here – it is not just about the… Soon after the news of that case, ... Read More »

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny prohibited from leaving country

Alexei Navalny says he was given no reason for being barred from boarding a flight from Moscow to Frankfurt. He intended to appear at the ECHR, which is ruling on the legality of his numerous detentions. DW Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday said that he had been prohibited from boarding a flight from Moscow’ Domodedovo airport to Frankfurt that morning. Navalny planned to continue on to the European Court of… The ECHR is expected to hand down a ... Read More »

Child refugees to return to Nauru

Scott Morrison says child refugees relocated from Nauru to Australia for medical attention will be sent back to the offshore processing centre. Richard Ferguson The Australian The Australian reported earlier this month that the Prime Minister plans to transfer all children off Nauru by the end of the year. Mr Morrison said there are only 30 children on the island now. But he said this morning that those remaining 30 children will be left on the island unless they need medical help ... Read More »

Bangladesh-Myanmar: The Danger of Forced Rohingya Repatriation

Bangladesh and Myanmar have struck a deal for the involuntary repatriation of over 2,000 Rohingya refugees. ICG But the agreement is rushed and threatens stability on both sides of the border. Myanmar and Bangladesh should halt the plan and instead work to create conditions conducive to a safe and dignified return. What’s new?  Bangladesh’s government is preparing to return several thousand Rohingya refugees to Myanmar. Under pressure from China, the two countries have agreed to start implementing a repatriation agreement ... Read More »

Government slashes charity Foodbank’s funding by half

A food charity says a federal government funding cut will put in danger its ability to get essential items to needy Australians. AAP – SBS A charity feeding 710,000 Australians every month says the federal government has cut its budget almost in half just weeks before Christmas. Foodbank says funding for its Key Staples program, which makes sure essential supplies like rice, bread and vegetables get to hungry people, will drop from $750,000 to $427,000. “We are dumbfounded,” Foodbank chief ... Read More »

Almost 300 asylum seekers prevented from sailing to Australia in past year

Exclusive: Documents show international authorities ‘disrupted’ 10 alleged attempts from international ports Helen Davidson The Guardian International authorities, with the assistance of Australia, have “disrupted” at least 10 alleged attempts to transport almost 300 asylum seekers to Australia by boat in the… The documents, from the federal home affairs department, record the number of “foreign law enforcement agency” (FLEA) disruptions since 2013. FLEA disruptions were set up as one of three components of the Abbott government’s border policy – alongside boat ... Read More »

Out for a good time? Yes. Dressed to be raped? No

Susan McKay: How women choose to dress can never be taken as an invitation for assault Susan McKay The Irish Times In October 1978 five thousand women came from all over Ireland to take part in a protest march through the centre of Dublin organised by the new Dublin Rape Crisis group. Anne Connolly led the chant: “Yes means yes and… Forty years later, last week, in the closing stages of a rape trial in Cork, a barrister for the ... Read More »

Study finds ‘huge’ fall in FGM rates among African girls

Rates of female genital mutilation (FGM) have fallen dramatically among girls in Africa in the last two decades, according to new research. BBC The study, published in BMJ Global Health, cited a “huge and significant decline” among under-14s. The practice involves removing all or part of a girl or woman’s external genitalia, including the clitoris. Some societies treat it as a rite of passage, but human rights groups say it is inhumane and physically dangerous. In the worst cases, victims ... Read More »

Trump signs order to deny asylum at border

President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation that effectively will suspend the granting of asylum to migrants who cross the US border with Mexico illegally for up to 90 days. © AP 2018 9news The order, which goes into effect on Saturday, means that migrants will have to present themselves at US ports of entry to qualify for asylum. Immigrant advocates say the administration has deliberately slowed the processing of migrants at official ports, forcing them to wait for days ... Read More »

Origins and implications of the caravan of Honduran migrants

Honduras is a wonderful place for a short visit, despite its reputation as a one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Sharon McLennan The Conversation It is a small, beautiful country with an abundance of natural resources and a warm, welcoming culture. But it is a very hard place to live. I first travelled there nearly 20 years ago to do volunteer work, meeting my Honduran husband in the process. I have visited multiple times since then, including ... Read More »