Humanity

The human touch: Australian eyes that ‘can’t look away’ from Manus

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As the crisis on Manus Island deepens, it sheds light on an unwritten history, still in the making, of deep friendships between asylum seekers and their supporters in… Arnold Zable The Age Contrary to the accusations made by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton that advocates are telling asylum seekers on Manus Island or elsewhere what to do, their long-time supporters are extremely worried about the men’s wellbeing and… They are torn between deep anxiety at the danger and stress the men are ... Read More »

UN slams Australia’s human rights record

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Last night, the United Nations Human Rights Committee released its recommendationsfrom its review of Australia’s compliance with a key human rights treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Anna Cody  Maria Nawaz The committee harshly criticised Australia for failures in key areas. The Conversation These included the treatment of refugees, Indigenous rights and inadequate protection of human rights, including the lack of a national human rights act. What is the UN Human Rights Committee? This is the treaty body for the… UN slams Australia’s… Read More »

‘We are not very caring’: Michelle de Kretser on Australian society

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In her new novel The Life to Come, the Miles Franklin-winning author critiques Australia’s character, and the boom that made us bad Brigid Delaney The Guardian Children of Australia’s long boom – who travel the world only to complain about lack of good coffee, who signal virtue by retweeting an asylum seeker story, who couldn’t imagine living in a house with only one bathroom, who are “really into food” – may find Michelle de Kretser’s new book an uncomfortable read. ... Read More »

‘It’s been a night from hell’: Homeless pushed out of Santa Ana River face uncertain futures

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Lisa Weber pushed her red-rimmed glasses higher on the bridge of her nose Thursday morning as she pondered how best to move her belongings off the dirt trail she has called home for months. Hannah Fry Los Angeles Times Her blue eyes seemed to show a glimmer of hope in contrast with her doleful expression. A friend living in a tent farther down the trail passed by and waved. ‘I’m not scared because I have a plan’ Back to sleeping ... Read More »

There Will Soon Be Floods Of Climate Refugees: Will They Get Asylum?

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New Zealand is considering creating a new visa for people fleeing environmental disasters brought on by climate change Adele Peters FastCompany In 2012, a migrant worker from the tiny, low-lying Pacific island nation of Kiribati tried to become a refugee in New Zealand, arguing that he and his family were afraid to go home because of the impacts of rising sea levels. The courts didn’t accept that the dangers were imminent–or that they were due to reasons of persecution that ... Read More »

Why we need a better philosophy of trees

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On November 6 1217, Henry III’s Charter of the Forest gave ordinary English people back their traditional rights to use royal hunting grounds for livestock grazing and collecting firewood. Tristan Moyle The Conversation The freedoms that were restored in the use of ancient woodland reshaped the community’s legal and political relationship with nature. But, today, this relationship has broken down. Only 2% of the UK’s ancient woodland survives; over half has been destroyed since the 1930s. Only 13% of the ... Read More »

Employee volunteerism? Only if you think your boss is ethical

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Study: Willingness to support corporate social responsibility initiatives contingent on ethical profile of your boss EurekAlert! A new study shows that people who perceive their employer as committed to environmental and community-based causes will, in turn, engage in green behavior and local volunteerism, with one caveat: their boss must display similarly ethical behavior. The forthcoming study in the Journal of Business Ethics by Kenneth De Roeck, assistant professor at the University of Vermont, and Omer Farooq of UAE University, shows ... Read More »

The Nansen passport: the innovative response to the refugee crisis that followed the Russian Revolution

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The triumph of revolution in Russia in 1917 brought an end to the 300-year old Romanov dynasty and the empire over which it ruled Peter Gatrell The Conversation The collapse of the German, Austrian and Ottoman war effort in 1918 precipitated the end of the remaining continental European empires. In each instance, imperial dissolution went hand in hand with the formation of new states. The Russian Civil War, between 1918 and 1921, led to an exodus of people who opposed ... Read More »

As poverty rises, the affluent won’t be able to escape its effects

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Rising resentment among the underclass is spilling out from ‘deprived’ areas and threatening to engulf society at large Darren McGarvey The Guardian The study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicting a sharp rise in child poverty will provoke the usual, commendable, shrieks of indignation. When news that more children than ever before are soon to be confined to economic deprivation, it’s sure to inspire a slew of robust dinner party debates. The overriding emotion anyone should be feeling at ... Read More »

Thou Shalt Not Kill: Catholic Bishops Start New Philippines Prayer Campaign

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MANILA—A top Catholic archbishop on Sunday called for Filipinos to choose peace over violence and end a spate of drug-related killings that have divided the nation. Manuel Mogato Reuters The Epoch Times Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, was speaking as the church launched a new prayer campaign to “heal the nation and stop the killings” in the… Philippine Catholic bishops have been stepping up opposition to killings blamed on a government crack down ... Read More »

The ethics of medical practice in offshore detention facilities

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As the standoff between hundreds of asylum seekers in the Manus Island detention facility and PNG authorities continues, we are witnessing a potential crisis of health and mental health among these detainees. Louise Newman The Conversation As a psychiatrist, I have had direct contact with current Manus detainees who are experiencing increasing anxiety and distress and an uncertain future. Some of these people are treated with medication, usually antidepressants, and some feel that this provides them with some symptomatic relief. ... Read More »

The breath of death on Manus Island: starvation and sickness

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Diary of a disaster: One of the refugees, who went to East Lorengau a few days ago, has walked back for more than 30km. We are all scared and hungry. Behrouz Boochani The Guardian Behrouz Boochani is a journalist and an Iranian refugee held on Manus Island since August 2014. The Guardian invited Boochani to keep a diary of the closure of the Australian-run detention camp. Friday 3 November The refugees wake me up early in the morning. When this ... Read More »

If Everyone Ate Beans Instead of Beef

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With one dietary change, the U.S. could almost meet greenhouse-gas emission goals. Ecoanxiety is an emerging condition. James Hamblin The Atlantic  Named in 2011, the American Psychological Association recently described it as the dread and helplessness that come with “watching the slow and seemingly irrevocable impacts of climate change unfold, and worrying about the future for oneself, children, and…It’s not a formal diagnosis. Anxiety is traditionally defined by an outsized stress response to a given stimulus. In this case, the ... Read More »

Refugees, Made Visible

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Australia’s absolute refusal to resettle migrants who approach the country by boat sets it apart worldwide, and debate over that policy flared yet again this week as the government tried to shutter its Manus Island detention center even as more than 600 asylum seekers refused to relocate. Damien Cave The New York Times The men, refugees from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and several other countries, said they had no food, no electricity and barely any water, but because they feared they ... Read More »

A basic income for everyone? Yes, Finland shows it really can work

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Mark Zuckerberg, Bernie Sanders and Elon Musk back the idea And trials suggest it can liberate jobless people from a life of humiliation Aditya Chakrabortty The Guardian In a speck of a village deep in the Finnish countryside, a man gets money for free. Each month, almost €560 (£500) is dropped into his bank account, with no strings attached. The cash is his to use as he wants. Who is his benefactor? The Helsinki government. The prelude to a thriller, ... Read More »

Three charts on: job prospects for refugees in Australia

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Hola gracias el gracis While refugees will always face major challenges in making the transition to employment, new research indicates their job prospects improve the longer they are in Australia. Pilar Rioseco  John De Maio But for those who do find work, it’s not always in their chosen profession. Most are in low-skilled occupations. The Conversation The Building a New Life in Australia study is longitudinal, following the journey of almost 2,400 humanitarian migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, from ... Read More »