Humanity

Blood, soil and paper: Thailand’s mission to reduce statelessness

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Last month’s epic rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team from a cave in northern Thailand gripped the world. Janepicha Cheva-Isarakul The Conversation When it emerged that some of the boys are stateless, the news headlines changed in subtle ways from “Thai boys in the cave” to “boys in Thai cave”. Amid the widespread joy over the successful operation, the rescue has drawn attention to the broader issue of statelessness in Thailand. My research into the lives of stateless youth ... Read More »

Why the mainstream media should stop giving extreme views a platform

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In recent weeks, a number of quite astounding articles have appeared in the British press. These have included among others, a Times columnopining the benefit to Britain in the current climate of having a political leader like Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin or Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; referred to as… Chris Allen The Conversation In the Daily Telegraph, a similarly toned piece contemplated the reinstatement of the death penalty after Brexit. Somewhat appealing to the lowest common denominator, these and similar articles prompt questions ... Read More »

Norway’s hidden scandal

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The UN rates Norway, the first country to appoint a Children’s Ombudsman, as one of the best countries for a child to grow up in. And yet, according to many Norwegian experts, its child protection system is “dysfunctional” – too many children, they say, are taken into care without good reason. Tim Whewell BBC The conviction of a top child protection psychiatrist for downloading child abuse images is now raising further serious questions. It was a winter’s day, some years ... Read More »

Namibia’s long fight for justice

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Over a century later, descendants of the Herero and Nama peoples, victims of Germany’s forgotten genocide, are demanding reparations – and an apology. Gouri Sharma reports New Internationalist ‘Justice now,’ they shouted. ‘Give us an apology’, they said, ‘genocide is genocide,’ they declared. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in the German port city of Hamburg. Activists, students and journalists from Germany and the African continent had gathered outside St. Michael’s church, the city’s largest, to begin their protest march ... Read More »

Australia and other countries must prioritise humanity in dealing with displaced people and migration

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After six rounds of consultations, United Nations member states have produced the final draft of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). Authors: The Conversation It is preceded by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which the UN General Assembly adopted in 2016. This was an intergovernmental declaration to initiate development of two separate global compacts: one on refugees and another on migrants. This latest global compact document focuses on the latter issue. It lays ... Read More »

Behrouz Boochani, Manus Island and the book written one text at a time

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The Kurdish Iranian writer’s book was sent largely via messaging services such as Whatsapp over almost five years Helen Davidson The Guardian A Kurdish Iranian writer sought refuge in Australia but was instead sent to the country’s notorious offshore detention centre. For the next five years he wrote a book, one text message at a time. Behrouz Boochani became a well known and award-winning voice from Papua New Guinea’s remote Manus Island, acting as a source for journalists in Australia ... Read More »

Lawyers defending immigrant children in detention are relying on a court case from the 80s

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The Trump administration’s immigration policies have brought an old court case back to life in defense of immigrant children at the border, often referred to as “the Flores settlement.” Kevin Johnson The Conversation The case, which was filed in 1985 and settled in 1997, set the rules that the government must follow when it keeps migrant children in its custody. The latest court order based on the settlement took place on July 30, in which a judge barred immigration authorities ... Read More »

We Are All Climate Refugees Now

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This summer’s fires, droughts, and record-high temperatures should serve as a wake-up call. The longer a narrow and ignorant elite condemns Americans and the rest of humanity to wander aimlessly in the political desert, the more likely it is that we will all end up in a wasteland. Jeffrey D. Sachs Project Syndicate NEW YORK – Modern humans, born into one climate era, called the Holocene, have crossed the border into another, the Anthropocene. But instead of a Moses guiding ... Read More »

Neil Sedaka’s 1975 song revived for anti-immigrant era

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Neil Sedaka is an American singer-songwriter who has written dozens of hit songs. Many of them he sang himself. Others are better known in cover versions by artists ranging from Elvis Presley to Ariana Grande. Robert Morrison The Conversation Sedaka’s wholesome image and infectious cheerfulness are easy to slight and have too often belied an extraordinary career. His song “The Immigrant” was a Top 30 hit when he released it in 1975, but today it seems even more relevant, as ... Read More »

Friday essay: the ‘great Australian silence’ 50 years on

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It’s 50 years since the anthropologist WEH Stanner gave the 1968 Boyer Lectures — a watershed moment for Australian history. Stanner argued that Australia’s sense of its past, its very collective memory, had been built on a… Anna Clark The Conversation It is a structural matter, a view from a window which has been carefully placed to exclude a whole quadrant of the landscape. What may well have begun as a simple forgetting of other possible views turned under habit ... Read More »

Jeff Bezos’s $150 Billion Fortune Is a Policy Failure

Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin and CEO of Amazon, speaks about the future plans of Blue Origin during an address to attendees at Access Intelligence's SATELLITE 2017 conference in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RC1A85E69100

Growing inequality in the United States shows that the game is rigged. Annie Lowrey The Atlantic Last month, Bloomberg reported that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, has accumulated a fortune worth $150 billion. That is the biggest nominal amount in modern history, and extraordinary any way you slice it. Bezos is the world’s lone hectobillionaire. He is worth what the average American family is, nearly two million times over. He has about 50 ... Read More »

The Brilliant Cathy Wilcox

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Here is a letter by Freddie Steen to the Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.  I agree with every word of it ( Julian Burnside ) The Editor , Cathy Wilcox(“political cartoon, 1/8) cuts to the core: Dutton’s punitive, care-less position on the human status of men seeking asylum, lets young men die. A breach of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention RG Menzies freely signed in 1954. The death of Hamid Khazaie is now world history as a preventable death in administrative ... Read More »

The Great Brexit Disorder

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Seeking, and being able to afford (!), a brief psychological decompression from the nightmarish Land of Caged Toddlers, and the almost daily police executions of unarmed blacks, I’m back in the… Kenneth Surin CounterPunch In Blighty, not quite as yet a banana republic like the US, young children are not (so far) kidnapped on a massive scale by the state, and its non-whites (so far) only generally endure systemic and repetitive police harassment and… The burning issue in the UK, ... Read More »

Sri Lankan asylum seekers are being deported from Australia despite fears of torture

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Earlier last month, Thileepan Gnaneswaran was separated from his wife and 11-month-old baby and deported from Australia back to Sri Lanka, the country from which he had fled six years ago. Kirsty Anantharajah The Conversation On his arrival in Colombo, he was taken into custody and questioned by Sri Lankan police. He’s since been released, but the ordeal was no doubt a traumatic experience, given his claims of being interrogated and tortured by Sri Lankan security forces during the country’s ... Read More »

Misogyny hate crime: new research reveals true scale of issue – and how the public are united against it

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A widely shared video of a woman being attacked by a man outside a Parisian cafe when she told him to “shut up” after he allegedly used “dirty words that were humiliating and provocative” brought the issue of misogynistic hate crime to the… Authors: The Conversation But this wasn’t a… It’s an example of something countless women endure every day – as we discovered during our research. Our research focused on the UK, where Nottinghamshire Police became the first force ... Read More »

The lifesaving power of gratitude (or, why you should write that thank you note)

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Gratitude may be more beneficial than we commonly suppose. One recent study asked subjects to write a note of thanks to someone and then estimate how surprised and happy the recipient would feel – an impact that they consistently underestimated. Richard Gunderman The Conversation Another study assessed the health benefits or writing thank you notes. The researchers found that writing as few as three weekly thank you notes over the course of three weeks improved life satisfaction, increased happy feelings ... Read More »