Humanity

Myanmar: UN human rights investigator barred from entering country amid Rohingya crisis

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The UN independent investigator into human rights in Myanmar has called for stronger international pressure to be exerted on Myanmar’s military commanders after being barred from visiting the country for the rest of her… ABC Reuters Yanghee Lee, UN special rapporteur, had been due to visit in January to assess human rights across Myanmar, including alleged abuses against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State. But Myanmar had told her she was no longer welcome, she said, adding in a statement that ... Read More »

Tamil asylum seeker to be deported after failing to meet deadline

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Detainee struggled to fill out 41-page application form in English – and was not able to access legal assistance in time Ben Doherty The Guardian A Tamil asylum seeker has become the first person slated for deportation – without having his claim for protection even assessed – after falling foul of the ministerial deadline of 1 October to apply. The man, who has been given the pseudonym Rajah because he remains at risk of being deported, was placed in handcuffs ... Read More »

Human Rights Of Those Detained By Australia On Manus Have Been Breached, PNG Court Rules

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“This will cost the Australian government, politically and financially,” advocates say. Gina Rushton BuzzFeed Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court has ruled the human rights of refugees and asylum seekers detained by the Australian government on Manus Island have been breached. The court found in April last year that asylum seekers were illegally detained on Manus Island but it has now dismissed an attempt by the PNG government to stop the detainees making compensation claims for…<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”/static-assets/css/enhanced.dae4f976df2b092a196fc7f20d2a0912.css”> Refugee Action Coalition ... Read More »

Talking Point: PM silent on Nobel prize when world needs him to speak up

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Malcolm Turnbull is rarely stuck for words, but the award of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to an organisation founded in Australia has left him speechless Peter Boyer The Mercury The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, was set up a decade ago in Melbourne. ICAN’s current director, Swedish lawyer Beatrice Fihn, received the award at a gala ceremony in Oslo, Norway last week. Geneva-based Fihn is one of just three salaried staff — the other two are ... Read More »

Calls to adopt child abuse inquiry’s recommendations on immigration detention

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Government urged to implement child safety standards after royal commission makes several recommendations relating to immigration department Helen Davidson and Ben Doherty The Guardian The federal government must immediately heed recommendations by the royal commission to protect children currently in its immigration detention system, human rights lawyers have said. On Friday the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse delivered its final report, primarily focused on religious institutions and state-based care homes – many of which have long… ... Read More »

Michael Lee has motor neurone disease. This is what he thinks of euthanasia

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Michael Lee was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) 10 years ago, when he was 35 years old. Tracy Bowden Three years later he met his wife, Joanna, and they married in 2012. ABC Joanna is his primary carer, helped by a team of care workers. She is determined that her husband will not choose to end his life because he thinks he has become too much of a burden. Over the years the disease has taken its toll, causing ... Read More »

Manus Island cartoonist Eaten Fish in safety in ICORN residency

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Award winning Iranian cartoonist Ali Dorani, known as Eaten Fish, has left Papa New Guinea and is now in safety. ICORN  Dorani has spent the past four years in a refugee detention camp on Manus Island, Papua New Guniea. “I have left PNG. It was a long journey but I am safe now. I am thinking about my friends in Manus Island and Port Moresby. Thank you to my supporters and people who worked to make this journey happen.” Statement ... Read More »

Tributes pour in for late Kenyan scholar Calestous Juma

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Prominent Kenyan academic Calestous Juma has died in the United States at the age of 64, prompting an outpouring of grief and tributes on social media. AlJazeera “Intellectual giant”, “innovator”, “tireless champion of the world’s poorest” – these are just some of the words used to describe the Harvard University professor after news of his death broke out on Friday. Juma, whose research and writing focused on science and the environment, was a passionate advocate of the role of technological innovation in… Earlier this ... Read More »

Health for All: The benefits of universal health coverage

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In much of the world today, the notion of equitable, universal access to health care remains a distant dream. Anthony Lake The Asahi Shimbun But universal health coverage is not unattainable–and Japan is among the inspiring countries that have proved it. For many years, Japan has been a leader in the movement to provide everyone with access to quality health care. Every human being, everywhere, deserves this, and every society benefits from it. Having achieved universal health coverage for its ... Read More »

New study shows income redistribution from the poor to the rich

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Back in 1980, the bottom 50 percent of wage-earners in the United States earned about 21 percent of all income in the country – nearly twice as much as the share of income (11 percent) earned by the top 1 percent of Americans. Christopher Ingraham Washington Post Chicago Tribune But today, according to a massive new study on global inequality, those numbers have nearly reversed: the bottom 50 percent only take in 13 percent of the income pie, while the ... Read More »

EDITORIAL: Liberals unethical pick for new ethics commissioner

Public sector integrity commissioner Mario Dion is shown in Ottawa on December 13, 2011. The Liberals are tapping a long-time public servant to be the ethics watchdog for the House of Commons. Government House leader Bardish Chagger says Dion is being nominated to become the next ethics and conflict of interest commissioner.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld ORG XMIT: cpt121

Talk about a bogus appointment process The Liberals have known for ages that ethics commissioner Mary Dawson was due to leave her post in early January Toronto Sun Postmedia News They were, after all, the ones who extended her appointment more than once by six month increments. So why then did they use such rushed, last-minute tactics to appoint Dawson’s successor? The whole process that unfolded this past week on Parliament Hill has opposition MPs and expert observers crying… On ... Read More »

Melbourne archbishop says he’d rather go to jail than report child abuse heard in confession

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Denis Hart says ‘communication with God is of a higher order’ after child sex abuse inquiry calls for failure to report to become a criminal offence Melissa Davey and agencies The Guardian The archbishop of the archdiocese of Melbourne, Denis Hart, said he would risk going to jail rather than report allegations of child sexual abuse raised during confession, and that the sacredness of communication with God during confession should be above the… He was responding to a report from the child ... Read More »

6,700 Rohingya killed in first month of Myanmar violence: MSF

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“At least 6,700 Rohingya, in the most conservative estimations, are estimated to have been killed, including at least 730 children below the age of five,” MSF said Dec. 14. YANGON – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The group’s findings come from six surveys of more than 11,426 people in Rohingya refugee camps and cover the first month after the crisis erupted. “We met and spoke with survivors of violence in Myanmar, who are now sheltering in overcrowded and unsanitary camps in Bangladesh,” ... Read More »

British troops breached Geneva conventions in Iraq, high court rules

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Court says soldiers subjected civilians to cruel and inhuman treatment, in cases that may determine handling of further claims Ian Cobain The Guardian British troops breached the Geneva conventions and subjected Iraqi civilians to cruel and inhuman treatment by hooding them and taking turns to run over their backs, the high court has ruled. Furthermore, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) breached the conventions as well as the 1998 Human Rights Act in the way in which it detained civilians after the 2003 invasion, the ... Read More »

Why rights must trump politics if new global plans on refugees and migrants are to make a difference

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The world has a chance to strike a bold agreement in 2018 that could improve the lives of refugees and migrants, but only if world leaders put aside the politics that often plagues debate on these issues and focus on people’s fundamental rights. Heaven Crawley Katharine Jones It’s been more than a year since leaders came together in September 2016 at the UN to try and bolster international cooperation on migration and refugee issues. The Conversation The resulting New York ... Read More »

Our Border Protection Spin Isn’t Fooling The World, UN Docs Reveal

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The international community is not fooled by Australia’s human rights offending immigration policies, writes Kellie Tranter. New Matilda In January this year, Treasurer and former immigration minister Scott Morrison told Australians: “We are the envy of the world when it comes to strong border protection policies that protect the integrity of our immigration system.” Yet heavily redacted documents released under Freedom of Information laws relating to our bid for the United Nations Human Rights Council suggest that in diplomatic circles, ... Read More »