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Category Archives: Human Rights
MARK SWIVEL. ‘To be without a home. Like a complete unknown. Just like a rolling stone’. – Bob Dylan.
Having a home one of the most basic human needs. We talk about housing or shelter as a human right – as we should. But that is not what we want. Not just the bricks and mortar but the sense … Continue reading
Australian politics is becoming increasingly polarised. Policy decisions are made for short term political gain against the advice of experts, and democratic checks and balances are being degraded. Strategic litigation is a tool that can be used to cut through … Continue reading
When I was growing up in Sydney in the 1950s, I knew that I came from a Jewish family and I was aware of the little blue and white Jewish National Fund money boxes collecting funds for Israel. Recently I … Continue reading
ELAINE PEARSON. Australian Children are Trapped in Syria and the Government Must Bring Them Home (Human Rights Watch)
An ABC Four Corners investigation has exposed the callous indifference of Australian officials over the return of Australian children held without charge in foreign camps for families of Islamic State members.
RICHARD FLANAGAN. Have we, Australia, become a country that breeds mass murderers with our words? (The Guardian 14.4.2019)
We are better than our politicians’ dark fears. We are not their hate. We are optimistic about a country built on openness.
Is it possible that pranksters with a perverse sense of humour are in charge of security procedures at Sydney International Airport? Perhaps they are trying to test the limits of traveller tolerance. If so, they might be close to succeeding … Continue reading
With the defeat of the Islamic State’s last stronghold in Syria, governments worldwide are grappling with how to deal with the innocent family members of foreign terrorist fighters. The Prime Minister has proclaimed that he will not “put one Australian … Continue reading
I recently spent some months living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. I was shocked, deeply distressed and angered by what I witnessed on a daily basis. Palestinians living under the Israeli military occupation experience a relentless, dehumanising, brutal and intimidating … Continue reading
SPENCER ZIFCAK. The Federal Government Corrodes the Independence of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
The Federal Government Corrodes the Independence of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal The Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is a quasi-judicial body designed to promote the rule of law and good government by enabling citizens to call into question the decisions … Continue reading
DANIEL WARNER. The Martin Ennals and Victorian Prize winners contrast with Australia’s policies against human dignity.
Australia’s refugee policies have been condemned for violations of the detainees’ human rights. The recent winners of two prestigious prizes, both detained on Manus, are further proof of the international community’s condemnation and highlight the shocking plight of those sequestered on … Continue reading
Human rights in China are under threat. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) government ignores international representations. Should Australia even attempt to intervene? What would we risk? The easy course would be to do the minimum and restrict our representations … Continue reading
Inequality is not an aberration that comes with neoliberalism. It is the foundation of neoliberalism, along with its partners in social crime: patriarchy and colonisation. As Sharan Burrow, the Australian General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), puts … Continue reading
JOANNE SIMON-DAVIES. Community attitudes towards violence against women. (Commonwealth Parliamentary Blog 5.12.2018)
The National Community Attitudes toward Violence against Women Survey (NCAS) is the world’s longest-running survey of community attitudes towards violence against women. Results from the latest survey are mixed; levels of awareness have generally risen but there are still areas of concern.
The story of a middle-aged husband and father talking up the “failure” of his marriage to justify his relationship with a much younger and previously childless woman is too clichéd to have much drama. The effect of this on the … Continue reading
RAMESH THAKUR and MICHAEL KIRBY. The 2018 decision merits a rich tribute for its transformative constitutionalism (The Hindu 30.12.2018)
Trapped in a frozen political process amidst heightened public passions, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was out of sync with contemporary values on gender orientation. It is the courts that have been used as the key to … Continue reading
JOHN MENADUE. How Murdoch and Abeles twisted the arm of the Hawke Government to help Ansett Airlines at the expense of Qantas. (Edited and reposted)
I have recalled several times that Rupert Murdoch has said that he has never asked a Prime Minister for anything. That is quite brazen. From my own personal experience I know that is just not true. I was the intermediary … Continue reading
Any political cynic will see excellent reasons for giving the Australian Federal Police a lead role in the crusade against online child pornography, the grooming of children for sexual abuse, and other sexual abuse of children, matters which might ordinarily … Continue reading
Fear and apathy have taken up residence in the collective political consciousness of Australia. Indeed, it may be that they have achieved that most desirable of states for governments seeking to remain in power, or oppositions sensing their imminent ascendency … Continue reading
ANTHONY PUN. Genetic manipulation of Human Embryo must be guided by proper moral and ethical research protocols.
A recent story emerged at the International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong about an experiment in off-target gene editing of two human embryos in an attempt to render the resultant twin babies resistant to HIV infection. The … Continue reading
On 9 November, Hassan Khalif Shire Ali crashed a vehicle full of gas cylinders in Bourke Street, Melbourne and stabbed three people, one fatally, before being shot by police. The 30-year old was on multiple watchlists at the time because … Continue reading
In typical fashion, Andrew Bolt through his blog at the Herald Sun mounted a defence of Ross Cameron’s sacking from Sky News Australia. Instead of recognising its racist connotations directed towards Chinese people (and people of Chinese origin for that … Continue reading
In The Conversation on 1November, 2018, Silke Myer said ‘After a deadly month for domestic violence the message doesn’t appear to be getting through’ Repost from 2 November 2018
In the final weeks of the run-up to the Wentworth by-election, the Prime Minister promised rapid amendments to anti-discrimination law to remove the freedom of private schools to expel students on the basis of their sexuality, his own fears of … Continue reading
Last week, the world gazed on as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified against a man backed by the strongest political forces in America. I couldn’t watch.
Everyone was walking past, refusing to meet her eyes. She wasn’t asking for somewhere to live. She wasn’t even asking for something to live on. All she was asking for was just enough to buy some breakfast. But everyone just … Continue reading
In the late 1970s, federal Labor, still in opposition after Whitlam, was struggling. New polling research enabled me to advise national conference that Labor would not regain office unless it increased its support among women voters. If women had voted … Continue reading
This summer, the fifth anniversary of Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA surveillance passed quietly, adrift on a tide of news that now daily sweeps the ground from under our feet. It has been a long five years, and not a … Continue reading
I don’t like what Steve Bannon has to say. I find Nigel Farrage’s attempts at shrouding his anti-immigration messages in “Judeo-Christian values” abhorrent. But I am also quite certain that neither pose more nor less of a threat to Australia … Continue reading
STEPHANIE DOWRICK. Exposing the myths of “border protection” we will see the refugees as real people; and act accordingly.
On Thursday morning of the Liberals’ week of mayhem, facing front benches empty of ministers and with the day’s sitting of Parliament about to be shut down, ALP leader Bill Shorten said: “The purpose of government is to uplift the … Continue reading
Peter Dutton failed as Health Minister. His track record since then is even worse.