Human Rights

Ireland’s abortion laws may go to a referendum, but will it turn out like marriage equality?

This week a citizens’ assembly will meet in Dublin to take the first step towards a referendum on the contentious issue of abortion. ABC Keri Phillips While the Irish may have established their progressive bona fides last year with their vote on same-sex marriage, a vote on abortion could produce a very different result. In almost all circumstances, abortion is… Ireland’s abortion laws may go to a referendum, but will it… Read More »

Freedom of speech? More like freedom to be a racist

To no one’s great surprise, I guess, the government has finally caved in to pressure and announced an inquiry into “freedom of speech”. The Canberra Times Sarah Gill A better title might be the “freedom to be a racist” though, in view of the fact that the Racial Discrimination Act is the sole focus of the inquiry. Announced by Attorney-General George Brandis on November 8, the inquiry of the Parliamentary Joint Committee will consider whether the act imposes “unreasonable restrictions” on… ... Read More »

NT child abuse reports skyrocketing, children’s commissioner report shows

Almost 1,800 children have been abused or neglected in just one year in the Northern Territory, and Territory Families failed to protect almost a quarter of them from more abuse, a new report has revealed. ABC Neda Nanovac and Eleni Roussos The NT children’s commissioner has released her annual report, finding that the number of notifications potential harm to children has more than doubled in the past five years. Last year alone, there was a 20 per cent spike in ... Read More »

Anglican priest undressed, touched boy in South West town, WA court hears

A man has told a Perth court he was repeatedly undressed and touched in the groin by an Anglican priest in the late 1970s, while going to church with his mother. ABC Emily Piesse Retired priest Raymond Sydney Cheek, 84, has pleaded not guilty to five charges spanning 30 years, including indecent dealing with a child under 14 years. The first charge related to an alleged offence on… Anglican priest undressed, touched boy in… Read More »

Children in 20-hour lockdown at Barwon prison: lawyers

Teenagers are being kept in 20-hour lock down in cells designed for hardened murderers such as Peter Dupas and Julian Knight, their lawyers say. The Age Bianca Hall The state government has imposed a detention-centre style secrecy on the fate of the young prisoners sent to adult maximum-security prison near Geelong, and Victorians may never know how many children will be sent to Barwon prison. The Department of Health and Human Services says it will not provide “daily discussions” on the… Children ... Read More »

Foster Care Queensland’s Bryan Smith says need for repeated reviews is concerning

In his 25 years’ experience with the foster care system, Foster Care Queensland’s Bryan Smith has seen a lot of reviews into child safety. Brisbane Times Felicity Caldwell There was Leneen Forde’s inquiry into abuse of children in Queensland institutions in 1998-99, a 2003 CMC inquiry into abuse in abuse in foster care and the 2012 Carmody inquiry into child protection. In 2016, it was the Queensland Family and Child Commission review, which was broadened to… Foster Care Queensland’s Bryan Smith says need ... Read More »

Child abuse royal commission: defrocked Anglican dean denies leading group of paedophile priests

A defrocked Anglican dean has vehemently denied at a royal commission hearing that he was the leader of a group of child abusers, but admitted he failed to act when he “suspected” a priest in his charge was having sex with a teenage boy. ABC David Marchese The ex-dean of Newcastle, Graeme Lawrence, has returned to the witness box in Sydney after beginning his evidence last week when he was questioned intensely about the events leading up to his defrocking ... Read More »

Talking Point: Child sex abuse scheme fails on too many levels

LIKE many Tasmanians, I was shocked and appalled by evidence given at the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. The Mercury Catryna Bilyk All abuse of children is horrendous, but it is particularly abhorrent for abuse to be committed by people entrusted with the care of those children. I welcome the Turnbull Government’s decision to fund trauma counselling and… Talking Point: Child sex abuse scheme fails on… Read More »

Why female genital mutilation still exists in modern Singapore

Female genital mutilation is carried out by communities around the world. But though it is not commonly associated with modern, cosmopolitan Singapore, it is quietly happening all the time, as the BBC’s Yvette Tan writes. By Yvette Tan BBC News Zarifah Anuar didn’t find out she had been circumcised as a child until she was 23. She was just two weeks old when her… Why female genital… Read More »

Slovenia adds water to constitution as fundamental right for all

Parliament adopts amendment that declares country’s abundant clean supplies are ‘a public good managed by the state’ and ‘not a market commodity’ Agence France-Presse in Ljubljana Slovenia has amended its constitution to make access to drinkable water a fundamental right for all citizens and stop it being commercialised. With 64 votes in favour and… Slovenia adds water to… Read More »

NFPs Protest Lifetime Ban on Refugee Visas

The Uniting Church in Australia has described as “immoral” the proposed legislation for a lifetime ban on visas for refugees who have arrived by boat since 2013. UnitingJustice Australia has written to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee about the proposed legislation, saying the ban served no purpose and… NFPs Protest Lifetime… Read More »

Lawyers want PMs from John Howard to Malcolm Turnbull in dock over asylum detention

Lawyers want PMs from John Howard to Malcolm Turnbull in dock over asylum detentionEvery Australian prime minister from John Howard onwards should be investigated for crimes against humanity in relation to the indefinite detention of asylum seekers, according to a group of international… Heath Aston The Sydney Morning Herald The group of seven British, American and Australian lawyers, which includes high-profile barrister and refugee advocate Julian Burnside, has petitioned the International Criminal Court to investigate the treatment of asylum seekers ... Read More »

Gretchen Carlson: My Fight Against Sexual Harassment

I’ve never been a good sleeper, but now more than ever, after having lost my job as a news anchor this past summer, I find myself lying awake at night thinking about my daughter — and your daughters, too. By GRETCHEN CARLSON I’ve been asking myself this simple question: Will our girls finally be the… Gretchen Carlson: My… Read More »

Amnesty can return to Moscow office after eviction: Russian rights official

MOSCOW: Amnesty International, a strong critic of Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria, will be able to return to its office in Moscow after being evicted for alleged non-payment of rent, Russia’s state human rights council said Thursday. Reuters Staff at Amnesty’s Moscow office had told Reuters Wednesday that they arrived at work to find the locks had been changed, official seals placed over the doors and the… Amnesty can return to… Read More »

Media Sauce: Why is The Australian fixated on 18C?

There’s plenty of bigotry about and a lot of it flows from the pages of the News Corp media, especially The Australian, says political editor Dr Martin Hirst. Martin Hirst Why does The Australian want the right to be bigoted? I’VE BEEN wanting to catch up with The Australian’s recent and ongoing campaigning about freedom of speech, press freedom and… Media Sauce: Why… Read More »