Human Rights

How to Respond to Venezuela’s Humanitarian Emergency

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Numbers tell the grim tale of Venezuela’s continuing slide into socio-economic ruin. ICG With 1.6 million people fleeing the country since 2015, international donors should step up aid to neighbouring states, while concerned parties fine-tune pressure for political change in Caracas and prepare for worst-case scenarios. Colombia’s hosting of a meeting on Venezuela today stands as an important opportunity to draw attention to the severity of the nation’s crisis, the suffering of its people and the burden it puts on ... Read More »

China cracks down on religion, crosses burned at Christian churches, Xi Jinping photos installed

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China has intensified its crackdown on religion, with images emerging of crosses being burned and destroyed at Christian churches. By Ian Burrows and Bang Xiao ABC The crosses are said to often be replaced with objects such as the Chinese flag and photos of Chinese President Xi Jinping and former Communist Party leader Mao Zedong. In one video posted on Twitter earlier this month, fire is seen engulfing the cross at the Chinese Christian Church in Xinxiang city, in the ... Read More »

Court orders Peter Dutton to transfer ill family of three from Nauru

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Judge stipulates no treatment by Border Force contractor or health provider IHMS Saba Vasefi and Helen Davidson The Guardian The federal court has once again enforced the medical evacuation of dangerously ill asylum seekers and refugees from Nauru, ordering the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, to transfer a family of three over the weekend. The order, delivered by Justice Tom Thawley on Friday, also stipulated that they not be treated by anyone contracted by Australian Border Force or detention health provider ... Read More »

If only we cared about refugees as much as strawberries!

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If only the asylum seekers and their children on Nauru and Manus were strawberries. Perhaps they would have more of a chance of grabbing the attention of the Prime Minister. Perhaps they wouldn’t try to kill themselves, as a… Warwick McFadyen The Age If they were able to miraculously turn into strawberries, then it is more than likely they might see and hear this: Prime Minister Scott Morrison leaping to their aid. A press conference to the nation. A declaration, ... Read More »

Nauru blocking refugee evacuations a problem of Australia’s creation – judge

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Commonwealth ‘created this situation’ by setting up regional processing deal with another sovereign state, Justice Debra Mortimer says Helen Davidson The Guardian Nauru’s attempts to block court-ordered medical evacuations of refugees is a problem of the Australian government’s creation, a federal court judge has said in a damning ruling. Justice Debra Mortimer made the comments early last week while ordering the urgent transfer of a young woman who was ill after trying to take her own life, after she was ... Read More »

Indonesian incest rape victim, 15, could be sent back to jail for having an abortion

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An appeal against the acquittal of a 15-year-old rape victim who was charged with illegal abortion in Indonesia has been condemned by local activists, who say the move is a backward step for the protection of women. Tasha Wibawa ABC A regional prosecution office launched the appeal, saying it wanted the case to serve as a lesson to others considering aborting a pregnancy, the Jakarta Post reported. The girl — who fell pregnant after being raped by her brother — ... Read More »

Washington’s Farcical “Certifications” Enable the War Crimes of Allies

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And violate U.S. law. Ted Galen Carpenter The National Interest Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s certification that the Saudi-led military coalition in the Yemen war was taking adequate steps to avoid inflicting civilian casualties may have achieved a new low in U.S. foreign-policy ethics. There is abundant evidence of multiple atrocities that Riyadh and its United Arab Emirates (UAE) junior partner have committed and continue to commit. The coalition’s war strategy has created a famine as well as a cholera ... Read More »

This pains me, but it’s time to compromise on Australia’s cruel asylum seeker policy

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Vacating the moral high ground is part of ending the most terrible act perpetrated by the Australian state during my lifetime Robert Manne The Guardian In the past 30 years Australia has crafted an almost uniquely cruel asylum seeker policy. Our only competitor is the proudly illiberal Hungary. When Malcolm Turnbull outlined our current policy to Donald Trump in their notorious telephone conversation, the US president was mightily impressed. “You are worse than I am.” No more evidence about the ... Read More »

Report Traces Goods Made with Child Labor to 76 Countries

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Gold and Tobacco Among Products Most Often Tainted by Child Labor Jo Becker HRW Of the products we use, wear, or consume every day, how many are made with child labor? Perhaps quite a few. A new report from the US Department of Labor identifies 148 different consumer goods produced with child or forced labor around the world. The list includes clothing, beef, sugar, bricks, coffee, and other products originating from 76 countries. Gold tops the list. The report found ... Read More »

Want to know your rights but only have 60 seconds?

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London barrister hopes to educate people about the law with bitesize Youtube videos Owen Bowcott The Guardian Christian Weaver likes to keep it concise. His video series ‘TheLawin60Seconds’ is pioneering legal advice for an age of supposedly limited attention spans. The 24-year-old lawyer has begun teaching people about their rights in online talks to camera that aim to simplify the complexity of legislation into a few basic principles. He may not be the first person to deliver consumer-friendly lectures over the… Weaver’s first ... Read More »

Europe’s two-faced migration reality

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Migration — like globalization — creates winners and losers. By MIGUEL OTERO-IGLESIAS Politico As European countries grapple with the backlash to immigration, it’s become clear that there’s a growing cognitive dissonance between the global elite and ordinary voters. Immigration has major benefits for both migrants and the host countries, but it’s important to remember that not everybody gains from the phenomenon. Like free trade and finance, migration creates winners and losers. If Europe’s political elite doesn’t come up with ways to compensate low-skilled ... Read More »

Scott Morrison rejects AMA plea to bring children from Nauru to Australia

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Prime minister rebuffs letter as no confidence motion against Peter Dutton fails by one vote Scott Morrison has rebuffed a plea from the Australian Medical Association to change policy on Nauru, and bring families and children to Australia, saying he will not “put at risk any element of… Katharine Murphy The Guardian The prime minister told reporters on Thursday the government was already in the process of “getting families off Nauru” and had pursued a refugee resettlement deal with the… ... Read More »

‘Kill me, I can’t cope’: Refugee women on Nauru robbed of their dignity speak out

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Women who have escaped oppression in Iran face similar intimidation in Australia, often by advocates claiming to help them. Saba Vasefi The Guardian Fascists kill. But for those damaged survivors who flee persecution, and face a new authoritarianism, sustaining themselves can be a monumental personal undertaking. Before I discuss four stages of redistributive justice, I’ll record examples of threat and intimidation which make the struggle for justice so necessary. “Kill me, I can’t cope anymore. Only death can rescue me” ... Read More »

Housegirl Complicates the Diaspora Narrative

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The debut from the Ghanaian British author Michael Donkor explores the life of a domestic worker in London, while rejecting the common impulse to focus on more aspirational immigrant stories. Hannah Giorgis The Atlantic The Ghanaian British author Michael Donkor’s U.S. debut, Housegirl, is full of movement. The novel follows a 17-year-old domestic laborer named Belinda as she travels from Ghana to London. Before the start of the novel, Belinda has already journeyed from her home village to Kumasi, one of ... Read More »

Why Can’t I Criticize My Religion?

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When I received a letter from a Shiite religious preacher from the United Kingdom, it did not surprise me. Majid Rafizadeh Gatestone Institute I receive many similar letters from extremist Muslims all over the world, as well as Western liberals, socialists, and others. Each time, opening these letters, I prepare for criticism of my careful scrutiny of my religion. As expected, the letter began with a familiar suggestion: “Stop criticizing your own religion.” The letter went on to support this ... Read More »

Germany’s heated asylum debate has dark parallels to events 30 years ago

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It was a moment that has defined Angel Merkel’s chancellorship of Germany ever since. In early September 2015, she allowed thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq to enter… Constantin Eckner The Conversation Merkel promised her people that Germany would be able to handle the growing influx of asylum seekers, but her decision provoked a… Since then, German politics has been largely dominated by that one controversial matter – asylum policy. In early September 2018, xenophobic riots rocked ... Read More »