Human Rights

Religious freedom should be protected for all Australians

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More needs to be done to ensure fundamental human rights are protected for all Australians, including freedom of religion. The Canberra Times However, if new laws are introduced it must not result in an erosion of current legislation that protects human rights, like those implemented in the ACT and Victoria. The ACT is ahead of the curve when it comes to laws protecting basic human rights, after the welcome introduction of the ACT Human Rights Act in 2004. Victoria followed ... Read More »

Uncertainty Strains Ethiopian Refugees in a Kenya Camp

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NAIROBI, KENYA — Two months ago, Kote Adi fled Moyale, Ethiopia, after government soldiers there opened fire on civilians, killing at least nine. Kote and his pregnant wife found shelter in a tent in northeastern Kenya’s Dambala Fachana refugee camp, but weeks of heavy rain have displaced… Sora Halake VoA “Our plastic shelters were flooded with water,” said Kote Adi, who is settling into a new tent site on higher ground. Hardship and uncertainty haunt him and thousands of others who’ve left Moyale, ... Read More »

Burundi: Killings, Abuse Ahead of Referendum

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UN, EU, US Should Expand Targeted Sanctions HRW (Nairobi) – Burundi’s security services and ruling party youth league members killed, raped, abducted, beat, and intimidated suspected opponents in the months leading up to a constitutional referendum on May 17, 2018, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The country has faced a political, human rights, and humanitarian crisis since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a disputed third term. The 32-page report, “‘We Will ... Read More »

‘Measuring success differently’: New Zealand budget’s shift in economic thinking

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The Ardern government in New Zealand is articulating a bigger role for government in society, talking up wellbeing over traditional economic measures — while still playing on the standard “fiscal… David Donaldson TheMandarin New Zealand’s Labour-led coalition government has handed down its first budget, highlighting health, education and housing as areas of focus. “Our priorities are different from the previous government. We are determined to turn the page on the ideology of individualism and a hands-off approach to our economy ... Read More »

Asylum seekers ‘face destitution’ as income support and housing cut off

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Refugee advocates describe cuts, which will affect up to 100 people, as ‘calculated cruelty to vulnerable people’ Helen Davidson The Guardian The federal government is taking away income support and housing from up to 100 refugees and asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru who are currently in Australia for medical treatment. The group, which includes families, elderly people and pregnant women, are among the more than 400 known as the “Let Them Stay” group, and the more than 260 that were party ... Read More »

The Long Haul Ahead for Myanmar’s Rohingya Refugee Crisis

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More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees from brutal military operations in Myanmar are stuck in Bangladesh, with returns to Myanmar unlikely soon and Bangladeshi goodwill being tested. ICG In Myanmar, international partners must be allowed access to northern Rakhine State. In Bangladesh, donors must help both refugees and their local hosts. What’s new? Since August 2017, nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar’s brutal military operations in Rakhine State to Bangladesh, joining tens of thousands who left earlier in 2017. The two ... Read More »

Law Society: ‘Antiquated laws’ compromise safety of sex workers in SA

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Measures to fully decriminalise sex work in South Australia has been welcomed by two of the state’s legal representative bodies, who say that sex workers should be afforded the same rights and protections as employees in any other industry. Melissa Coade Lawyers Weekly The Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work) Bill 2018 was introduced in the South Australian parliament last Wednesday. The effect of the legislative change will mean that sex work would be fully decriminalised in the state; it ... Read More »

‘More than 19’ Cameroon athletes seeking refuge after going missing at Commonwealth Games

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More than 19 Commonwealth Games athletes and team staff who went missing during the Gold Coast event are now seeking asylum in Australia, refugee advocates have said. 9news Sydney’s Refugee Advice and Casework Service principal solicitor Sarah Dale said the organisation had helped a number of people lodge applications for protection, before their federally approved games visas expired on Tuesday night. Initially, it was believed 11 participants had not returned home, including five boxers and three wrestlers from Cameroon, two ... Read More »

Can Turkey’s opposition finally unite and challenge Erdoğan?

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June 24, 2018 instead of late 2019: that’s the date decided for Turkey’s “snap presidential and parliamentary elections”, called by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political partner from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli. Authors: The Conversation The elections are needed by the incumbent president, who wants to maintain his position and stay in power. AKP’s weaknesses Erdoğan has to deal with several issues that have recently weakened his party and leadership both domestically and abroad. Turkey’s military intervention in Syria has ... Read More »

To Free a Human Rights Defender in Russia’s Chechnya

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Daughter of Chechnya’s Slain Rights Worker Pleas for Freedom of Mother’s Successor Tanya Lokshina HRW Today, my late friend’s daughter published a video calling on the public to petition Russia’s President Putin to free Oyub Titiev, the Chechnya director for Russia’s leading human rights organization, Memorial. Titiev has been jailed since January, pending trial on trumped-up drug possession charges. My late friend, Natasha Estemirova, was Chechnya’s most prominent rights defender. In summer 2009, a group of security officials kidnapped her ... Read More »

One day, two students: What college looks like from opposite ends of the income gap

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A college degree has long been touted as society’s great leveler, essential for entry into the middle class. Rachel Kurzius andHarrison Smith The Washington Post Nearly 20 million students enrolled in an undergraduate program in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Movies and television tend to portray an idealized college experience, featuring 18- to 21-year-olds who attend four-year institutions and live on campus. But in reality the college experience is far more varied. Only 15 percent of the undergraduate ... Read More »

‘Horrific’ Israeli ‘war crimes’ in Gaza must end now, human rights watchdog says

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As the death toll among Palestinian protesters rises in Gaza, Amnesty International has called Israel’s crackdown “deplorable,” and the UN has called for an end to the Israeli military’s “disproportionate” use of… RT “This is another horrific example of the Israeli military using excessive force and live ammunition in a totally deplorable way,” Amnesty International’s Philip Luther said. “This is a violation of international standards, in some instances committing what appear to be wilful… Over 2,700 people have been injured, many with live ... Read More »

Are dictators on the way out – or on the way up?

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All around the world, democracy is looking shaky. While consolidated democracies are struggling to stay healthy, many flawed ones have turned into outright authoritarian regimes – most notably Russia under Vladimir Putin and Turkey under… Natasha Ezrow The Conversation But the news isn’t all bad: on several continents over the last decade, longstanding dictators have resigned, lost elections, or been deposed. As the table below indicates, the number of dictators who’ve fallen in recent years for all sorts of reasons ... Read More »

Erdogan’s visit to the UK: open letter to Prime Minister May

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Lobby for Cyprus * open letter to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Dear Prime Minister President Erdogan’s visit to the UK will take place against the shadows cast by his destruction of democracy in Turkey, his government’s appalling human rights record, his country’s gunboat diplomacy and the enduring consequences of the two Turkish invasions of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974. Having ethno-religiously cleansed and colonised 36 per cent of the territory (and 57 per cent of the ... Read More »

UNICEF: 400,000 children on ‘verge’ of death in the DRC

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The UN’s children’s agency calls for $88m of aid to address the ongoing crisis in Congo’s Kasai region. AlJazeera Up to 400,000 children are at risk of starving to death in the Democratic Republic of Congo unless humanitarian aid efforts are ramped up, the UN’s children’s agency has warned. Fighting between government forces and regional militia in the Congo’s central Kasai province has created a “perfect storm of poverty, deprivation and conflict for the most vulnerable children”, UNICEFsaid in a… It called for urgent ... Read More »

Brazil: New Evidence of Army Role in Rio Ambush

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No Arrests 6 Months After Killings of 8 People New accounts by witnesses suggest that the killers of a group of people in a poor neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro on November 11, 2017, were members of the army special forces, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch interviewed two witnesses and reviewed witness accounts from case files indicating that the clothing and gear of the killers were the same as those of the army personnel who arrived on ... Read More »