Human Rights

Gillian Triggs: Australian law has fallen prey to ‘isolation and exceptionalism’

Triggs uses Michael Kirby Oration to argue governments have taken advantage of the fear caused by terrorism Calla Wahlquist The Guardian Gillian Triggs has criticised the expansion of executive powers in Australia, saying Australian law has fallen prey to “isolation and exceptionalism” that has weakened democracy and… In a draft copy of her Michael Kirby Oration, delivered at Victoria University on Wednesday night, Triggs said governments had taken advantage of the fear caused by terrorism to introduce laws that were ... Read More »

World Bank warns of ‘learning crisis’ in global education

World Development Report 2018 calls for greater measurement, action on evidence WASHINGTON, September 26, 2017 – Millions of young students in low and middle-income countries face the prospect of lost opportunity and lower wages in later life because their primary and secondary schools are failing to educate them to succeed in life. Warning of ‘a learning crisis’ in global education, a new Bank report said schooling without learning was not just a wasted development opportunity, but also a great injustice ... Read More »

Austria burqa ban: Government warns Muslim women to show faces in public or be fined

Breach of new integration law will be punished with €150 fine Chris Baynes  The Independent The Austrian government has issued posters and leaflets threatening Muslim women with fines for wearing face veils ahead of the introduction of a controversial ban. The authorities launched the publicity drive to raise awareness of the legislation outlawing niqabs and burqas, which will come into force on 1 October. Under the new “integration” policy, anyone wearing clothes that obscure their face in public can be fined €150 (£132) ... Read More »

Exclusive: John Howard says the government needs to explain how it will protect religious freedoms on same-sex marriage

Former prime minister John Howard has demanded that the rights of children not be forgotten in the same-sex marriage debate Speaking exclusively to 9NEWS from London, he also rejected Malcolm Turnbull’s assurances that a detailed debate about protecting religious freedoms can wait until after the postal vote on same-sex marriage is decided. Chris Uhlmann 9news Mr Howard said that if the postal survey returned a “yes” vote then the government would be stampeded into delivering change, so people needed answers ... Read More »

Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis Meets Reality

The news coverage of Myanmar over the past several months has led many people to conclude that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the country, has abandoned her responsibility to protect human rights. Kevin Rudd * The New York Times Hundreds of thousands of people from the Rohingya ethnic minority are being expelled by the military from lands in western Myanmar, where they have lived for centuries. By any standard, we are witnessing the most fundamental ... Read More »

Turkey Uncensored: A History of Censorship and Bans

On April 29, the Turkish government announced that it completely blocked Wikipedia over the online encyclopedia’s refusal to delete articles and comments that suggest that Ankara is co-operating with terrorist groups such as the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. Uzay Bulut Philos Project Despite multiple requests by Turkish officials, Wikipedia refused to take down the content the Turkish government objected to. In response, Turkish authorities blocked online access to Wikipedia in all languages across the country. Wikipedia continues to be blocked ... Read More »

Legalising assisted dying would be a failure of collective human memory and imagination

We can judge the ethical tone of a society by how it treats its weakest and most in need. With euthanasia we offer them death instead of loving care. Margaret Somerville  The Guardian Dying and death is not a new phenomenon: we have always become ill, suffered, were going to die and someone else could have killed us. So why now, at the beginning of the 21st century, after prohibiting euthanasia for thousands of years and when we can do ... Read More »

What Awaits the Rohingya in Bangladesh?

Aung San Suu Kyi’s moral conscience has seemingly taken a backseat to cold, hard politics. Michael Kugelman  The plight of the Rohingya community is truly one of the saddest stories of our times. The National Interest It is a tragic tale of perpetual persecution, major marginalization and mass migration. In Burma, where this Muslim community’s numbers are the highest—about a million, according to most estimates—its members are denied citizenship and land. They also live on the fringes of society in India and ... Read More »

The Sanders Single-Payer Plan Is No Miracle Cure

Last week, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced “Medicare for all” legislation, which would enroll all Americans into the nation’s Medicare program within four years. LANHEE J. CHEN and MICAH WEINBERG The New York Times Senator Sanders, the Vermont independent, argues that his proposal would create a system that “works not just for millionaires and billionaires, but for all of us.” Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and over a dozen of their Senate Democratic colleagues have co-sponsored the legislation. ... Read More »

Latest figures reveal more than 40 million people are living in slavery

Forced marriage is included for first time in worldwide statistics that show ‘money and debt’ to be at the heart of the exploitation Annie Kelly The Guardian An estimated 40.3 million people were victims of modern slavery in 2016, a quarter of them children, according to new global slavery statistics released today. The figures, from the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation, show 24.9 million people across the world were trapped in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriage last ... Read More »

40 million in modern slavery and 152 million in child labour around the world

Modern slavery and child labour New data reveal that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal Target 8.7, will not be achieved unless efforts to fight modern slavery and child labour are dramatically increased. ILO NEW YORK (ILO News) – New research developed jointly by the International Labour Organization (ILO)1  and the Walk Free Foundation2 , in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM)3 , has revealed the true scale of modern slavery around the world. The data, released during the ... Read More »

Religion is not the only reason Rohingyas are being forced out of Myanmar

Recent weeks have seen an escalation of violence against the Rohingya in Rakhine, the poorest state of Myanmar. Giuseppe Forino  Jason von Meding  Thomas Johnson  The Conversation A tide of displaced people are seeking refuge from atrocities – they are fleeing both on foot and by boat to Bangladesh. It is the latest surge of displaced people, and is exacerbated by the recent activity of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). Religious and ethnic differences have been widely considered the ... Read More »

Australia offers to pay Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar

Exclusive: Rohingya sent to detention island in Papua New Guinea pressured to return to Myanmar, where thousands have fled ethnic persecution Oliver Holmes and Ben Doherty The Guardian Australia is promising thousands of dollars to Rohingya refugees who agree to return to Myanmar, a country that has been accused of ethnic cleansing against the Muslim minority. Asylum seekers in the Australian-run detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, have been pressured by officials to return to their home countries, ... Read More »

Yemen: About 55,000 Documented Human Rights Violation Cases in Six Months

Geneva- The Yemeni Coalition for Monitoring Human Rights Violations has called on the UN Human Rights Council UNHRC to oblige the Saleh-Houthi coup militias to implement its resolutions. The coalition specified resolutions 17/18 of 2011 and 27/29 of… Asharq Al-Awsat  The Coalition’s executive manager Mutahhar al-Budheiji made the appeal as he presented his organization’s report on the status of human rights in Yemen in the 36th session of the UNHRC in Geneva Wednesday. He urged the UNHRC “to call on ... Read More »

Tunisian women free to marry non-Muslims

Tunisia has overturned a law that banned women from marrying non-Muslims A spokeswoman for President Beji Caid Essebsi made the announcement and congratulated women on gaining “the freedom to choose one’s spouse”. BBC Until now, a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian Muslim woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof. Tunisia, which is 99% Muslim, is viewed as one of the most progressive Arab countries in terms of women’s… Tunisian ... Read More »

Processing centres in North Africa are not the answer for EU refugees

Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron invited his counterparts from Libya, Niger, Chad, Italy, Germany and Spain to Paris to discuss ways of stopping the flow of irregular migrants and refugees through transit countries. Azadeh Dastyari  The Conversation  The leaders explored the possibility of establishing processing facilities in North Africa to identify refugees and turn back anyone who does not qualify for resettlement. The talks come two years after approximately one million people arrived by boat in Europe, 75% of ... Read More »