Human Rights

Obamacare: Texas court rules key health law is unconstitutional

A federal judge in the US state of Texas has ruled that a key part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional. BBC Twenty states argued the whole law was invalidated by a change in tax rules last year which eliminated a penalty for not having health insurance. President Donald Trump said the ruling was great news for America. The law’s provisions will, however, remain in place until an appeal is heard at the US ... Read More »

Role reversal: China cites human rights in spat with Canada

When China’s government recently protested the arrest in Vancouver of Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou, it used something rarely heard from Beijing — the language of… David Webster The Conversation “The detention without giving any reason violates a person’s human rights,” a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry said. In using this sort of “rights talk,” China is not simply jumping on the fact that Meng was in detention on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ... Read More »

China: Repression of Christian Church Intensifies

Protestant Pastor, Dozens of Congregants Detained (New York) – Chinese authorities should immediately release the pastor and scores of members of an independent Protestant church in the southwestern city of Chengdu, Human Rights Watch said today. HRW Authorities should also return church properties and allow the members to resume worship services. On December 9 and 10, 2018, police officers in Chengdu took into custody Pastor Wang Yi and more than 100 congregants of the Early Rain Covenant Church from the ... Read More »

‘You welcome them with hatred’: Malala’s disappointment at Australia

When asylum seekers looked to an affluent Australia for hope, it was disappointing to see some were treated with “hatred” and weren’t even allowed to set foot on its shores, said activist Malala Yousafzai. Julie Power The Sydney Morning Herald Yet when the Taliban came for Ms Yousafzai’s family in Pakistan, her family was given sanctuary by friends, family, strangers, true to the country’s culture of welcoming those in need. The 21-year-old activist – who in 2014 became the youngest ... Read More »

Four journalists, one newspaper: Time Magazine’s Person of the Year recognises the global assault on journalism

Time Magazine has just announced its “Person of the Year” for 2018, and for once, it isn’t one person. This time it is four people and a newspaper. Prof. Peter Greste The C0nversation Collectively calling them “The Guardians”, Time has awarded the accolade to the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Filipino journalist Maria Ressa who edits the Rappler news website, two… Time’s Person of the Year cover is reserved for those who the magazine judges have had “the greatest impact ... Read More »

‘Outrageous’: Australia notified Thailand about refugee footballer’s travel plans

Jakarta: Hakeem al-Araibi was detained in Bangkok after the Australian government informed their Thai counterparts the refugee footballer was travelling to Thailand and subject to an Interpol Red Notice. James Massola The Sydney Morning Herald On Wednesday, the Department of Home Affairs attempted to distance itself from Araibi’s detention, arguing that “any action taken in response to the Interpol Red Notice is a matter for Thai authorities”. But Human Rights groups were sharply critical of Australian authorities’ decision to notify ... Read More »

Life in limbo: the Manus babies who face a stateless future

Up to 39 children have been born to Papua New Guinean women and refugee men originally detained on Manus Island. Lyanne Togiba and Michelle Cheng The Guardian Their families claim the children have been denied birth certificates, leaving their future uncertain. The children of Manus Island refugees and local women are being denied birth certificates, according to their families, potentially leaving up to 39 of them stateless. A number of refugee men detained in the Australian-run Manus Island regional processing centre and ... Read More »

Pope demotes two cardinals over sexual abuse scandals

Two cardinals facing allegations linked to sexual abuse have been removed from Pope Francis’s inner circle, the Vatican said. BBC Australia’s George Pell and Chile’s Francisco Javier Errazuriz will no longer sit on the Council of Cardinals, set up by the pope as an international advice body. The pair were absent from the last meeting of the group in September. A spokesperson said the Pope wrote to them both in October to thank them. Cardinal Pell, who remains the Vatican ... Read More »

Syrian refugees remain trapped and marginalised by Lebanon’s power-sharing politics

World leaders gathered in Marrakesh on December 10 to sign a historic agreement safeguarding the rights of migrants. Drew Mikhael The Conversation Despite the withdrawal of some countries, the Global Compact on Migration was approved by 164 countries. It follows the Global Compact on Refugees, approved at the UN in mid-November by all countries, bar one – the United States. Despite the current optimism around the potential good these new global compacts on refugees and migrants will have, the current ... Read More »

Marise Payne urged to ‘step up’ at Aung San Suu Kyi meeting in Myanmar

Amnesty International Australia has called on Australia’s foreign affairs minister to act on the Rohingya crisis, as she visits Myanmar this week. Nick baker SBS As Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne begins her two-day visit to Myanmar, Amnesty International Australia has urged her to “step up and show leadership” at a meeting with controversial leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Ms Payne is in the Southeast Asian nation on Wednesday and Thursday and will meet with senior government ministers, including ... Read More »

Stop the boats: Email exposes Border Force plans to save money by halting ocean patrols

The Australian Border Force plans to save money on fuel by pulling ships from ocean patrols, amid a high-stakes political fight between the Morrison government and Labor over border… Nicole Hasham Brisbane Times The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age has sighted an internal Border Force email stating that “operational limitations” will be imposed to achieve a saving in the annual fuel budget and “ships… It also explains the move is in line with budget control measures, which are in ... Read More »

‘Help us’: Call for greater assistance to locate 3000 Yazidis taken hostage by IS

More than 3000 Yazidi women and girls taken hostage after IS swept through northern Iraq in 2014 remain missing. By Fares Hassan, Sylva Mezher, Abdallah Kamal Presented by Good Morning Australia 6-9 AM Published: December 10 A councilman in the northern Iraqi region of Sinjar has called for a greater international assistance to locate the more than 3000 Yazidi women and girls still missing and presumed under IS captivity. Khodaida Al-Hamo, a Yazidi member of the Nineveh governorate council which overseas Sinjar, ... Read More »

Australia faces class actions for ‘crimes against humanity’ on Manus and Nauru

One day after the government filibustered proposed changes to medical transfers from Nauru, human rights lawyers have filed two class action suits alleging “torture”, “persecution” and “other inhumane acts”. Chris Woods Crikey Local human rights lawyers have launched two class action lawsuits alleging that Australia’s offshore detention regimes demonstrate negligence amounting to crimes against humanity and torture. Just a day after the government successfully filibustered proposed changes to medical transfers from Nauru, George Newhouse (principal solicitor at the National Justice Project) filed two ... Read More »

‘Each of those children have a dream to be someone’:

Powerful moment refugee lawyer who fled to Australia as a teenager challenges Q&A viewer about kids being kept on Nauru Refugee lawyer fired back at viewer who asked a controversial question on Q&A Man asked why the gov. ‘creating an issue’ about less than 10 children on Nauru Ms Nyoun shot back that each of the children had goals, dreams and ambitions A refugee lawyer has expressed her frustration at the lack of government action on refugee children living in ... Read More »

Human rights in 2018 – ten issues that made headlines

On December 10, the world marks 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Authors: The Conversation Regrettably, instead of the anniversary signalling the enduring impact of human rights, some are fearing the “end of human rights”. Here we highlight some of the rights challenges that captured the world’s attention this year, illustrating the struggle to secure human rights is far from over. 1. Australia’s first year on the UN Human Rights Council Australia took its ... Read More »

US official opposes ditching support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen

The United States strongly opposes discontinuing support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s war and will remain engaged in efforts to combat Iranian influence and Islamist militancy in the Arab state, a… ABC Reuters The US administration has come under pressure at home over the nearly four-year-old conflict that has pushed Yemen to the brink of starvation since the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at… The US Senate last month voted to advance a resolution to end military ... Read More »