Human Rights

When apartheid Israel abuses Palestine’s children

Nelson Mandela, who knew a thing or two about national struggle, once said: “There is no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats children.” By Fawaz Turki, Special to Gulf News And no child in the world has suffered more grievously — indeed more barbarously — than those living under Israel’s rule of the gun. Think, as a case in point, of the first intifada, which lasted from December 1987 until the Madrid Conference in 1991, ... Read More »

Forced disappearances are on the rise as human rights violators cover their tracks

It seems the global campaign to protect human rights has had an unexpected side-effect: governments are changing their preferred methods of getting rid of political opponents. Rodwan Abouharb The Conversation Fear of scrutiny has prompted governments to switch from brazenly killing their opponents to forcing them to “disappear” – leaving their fate unclear, and helping leaders avoid accountability for their actions. The majority of disappearance cases go unsolved – in the absence of a body, forensic evidence or even eyewitness ... Read More »

‘Tortured and held for ransom,’ a child migrant’s story

(CNN) – Souleiman tells a harrowing tale. He says he left Guinea when he was just 17 years old, embarking on a treacherous journey that took him through three countries. By Lorenzo D’Agostino and Mark Tutton, CNN Along the way, he says he was imprisoned, tortured and held for ransom. Souleiman says he left home in the summer of 2016, traveling thousands of miles through Mali, Algeria and Libya before reaching the Mediterranean Sea in December 2017. Smugglers put him in ... Read More »

Tamil asylum seeker to be deported after UN committee withdraws torture concerns

Committee earlier requested a halt to Shantaruban’s removal from Australia Ben Doherty The Guardian A Tamil asylum seeker appears set for deportation to Sri Lanka after the UN committee against torture withdrew a request to Australia to halt his removal while it investigated the risk of him being tortured upon return. Shantaruban, currently held in immigration detention in Melbourne, has been in Australia since arriving by boat in 2012. A notice of intention to remove from Australia has been issued ... Read More »

Mitsutoki Shigeta: ‘Baby factory’ dad wins paternity rights

A Bangkok court has awarded paternity rights to a Japanese man over 13 babies he fathered through Thai surrogate mothers. BBC The ruling allows Mitsutoki Shigeta, 28, to pursue custody of the children. The son of a wealthy entrepreneur, he caused controversy in 2014 when he was revealed to have fathered 16 babies via surrogates in Thailand. His so-called “baby factory” case and others led to Thailand banning commercial surrogacy for foreigners. Mr Shigeta, who was not present at the ... Read More »

Churches unite to propose Religious Freedom Act

Major submission to Ruddock panel calls for a new legal “right” John Sandeman Eternity A wide range of Evangelical and Pentecostal Christian churches have spoken with one voice to the Ruddock panel on religious freedom, whose call for submissions closed today. They have received 13,500 submissions: “I think it is safe to say that people are concerned about religious freedom,” says Michael Kellahan, executive director of Freedom for Faith (FFF), a Christian legal think tank. The federal government has set ... Read More »

Who is Asma Jahangir ?

Known for maintaining a resolute stance in the face of extreme pressure and opposition, Jahangir will be remembered as a champion for the disenfranchised The Indian Express Eminent lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir passed away in Lahore after she suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday, according to Pakistan media. She was 66. “Asma suffered heart attack today morning and she was rushed to Hameed Latif Hospital Lahore where she breathed her last. Doctors tried to save her life ... Read More »

When judges wear wigs and robes, what’s so offensive about a niqab?

The statue representing justice is blindfolded for a reason – to symbolise that all people are treated equally in our courts no matter their wealth, position in society or religious beliefs. Duncan Fine The Age Sometimes the courts fail to live up to that ideal. This week Justice Christopher Beale in the Victorian Supreme Court banned a woman who was wearing a niqab from sitting in the public area of the court where her husband is facing a trial on ... Read More »

A lonely death in Adelaide’s leafy suburbs

Opinion At a small and heartbreaking funeral in suburban Tusmore, Adelaide lawyer Mal Byrne says he grasped the full horror of the damage wrought by Australia’s immigration detention system. Mal Byrne / Tindall Gask Bentley In Daily His name was Aref. He died in November 2017 at the age of 47. He was my client. He died alone in his unit tucked away in the leafy eastern suburbs of Adelaide. It was several days before his body was found. He ... Read More »

Child abuse redress scheme would exclude offshore detention victims, lawyers say

Exclusive: Turnbull government says compensation should not be available to those who are not citizens or permanent residents Christopher Knaus The Guardian The government’s model for a national redress scheme would exclude children who were abused in Australia’s offshore detention network, a lawyers’ association has warned. A national redress scheme was one of the key recommendations of the landmark child abuse royal commission, offering a way to compensate survivors without forcing them to resort to costly and prolonged civil action. ... Read More »

Rohingya abuses could spark regional conflict: UN rights chief

The U.N. human rights chief warned Monday that possible acts of “genocide and ethnic cleansing” against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority could fuel a religious-based conflict that spreads beyond the country’s borders. Hurriyet “Myanmar faces a very serious crisis – with a potentially severe impact on the security of the region,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said during a speech in Jakarta. His remarks follow the publication of a report last week about mass graves of ... Read More »

The refugee crisis isn’t about refugees. It’s about us

I was a child refugee, writes the Chinese artist and activist. I know how it feels to live in a camp, robbed of my humanity. Refugees must be seen to be an essential part of our shared humanity Ai Weiwei The Guardisn I was born in 1957, the same year China purged more than 300,000 intellectuals, including writers, teachers, journalists and whoever dared to criticise the newly established communist government. As part of a series of campaigns led by what ... Read More »

The Economics Of Slavery: Spending Power Is Linked To People Power

We might not be as free as we think we are, writes Matthew Clark. Edward Santow – Australia’s newest Human Rights Commissioner – has noted that more people live in slavery today than at any previous time in world history. Matthew C. Clarke New Matilda How is that possible? Some of the most detailed and credible estimates of how many slaves are in the world today come from Australian research by the Walk Free Foundation. After producing The Global Slavery ... Read More »

Anti-Abortion Democrat Loses Key Support To Progressive Challenger

Marie Newman’s campaign against Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) is getting a big boost from EMILY’s List By Daniel Marans HuffPost EMILY’s List, the fundraising group that backs pro-abortion rights Democratic women, on Friday endorsed Illinois progressive Marie Newman’s campaign against Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Congress. Support from EMILY’s List, a fundraising powerhouse closely aligned with Democratic Party leadership, gives Newman a major boost in her effort to unseat Lipinski in the March 20 ... Read More »

Images of mutilated female Kurdish fighter spark outrage

A video captured in Syria shows the body of a female Kurdish fighter which has been mutilated by a group of Turkish-backed rebels, the British Daily Mail newspaper reports. Ahval The woman, identified by Kurdish officials as Barin Kobani, was reportedly a fighter from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a mainly-Kurdish fighting force that Turkey is fighting against in the northwest Syrian region of Afrin. The video shows a dozen men around her mutilated body, which has been partially stripped ... Read More »

Was Your Seafood Caught With Slave Labor?

New Database Helps Retailers Combat Abuse The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, known best for its red, yellow and green sustainable seafood-rating scheme, is unveiling its first Seafood Slavery Risk Tool on Thursday. npr It’s a database designed to help corporate seafood buyers assess the risk of forced labor, human trafficking and hazardous child labor in the seafood they purchase. The tool’s release comes on the heels of a new report that confirms forced labor and human rights abuses ... Read More »