Category Archives: Human Rights

IAN WEBSTER. A tribute to Anne Deveson – understanding the homeless mentally ill

Anne Deveson’ s media presence spearheaded the media’s involvement in public health and mental health. She contributed at so many levels – social commentaries and documentaries -which challenged our sensibilities.

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ERIN GILLEN. Women’s March on Washington (and Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra)

On Saturday 21st January, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to descend on Washington DC to march to highlight the simple message that women’s rights are human rights. The march is expected to … Continue reading

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BRUCE ARNOLD. The Hanson Card is unworkable rather than just very nasty

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has reportedly proposed that every Australian be required to carry a national identity card. The rationale? The card will supposedly significantly reduce fraud by non-citizens who are resident in Australia.  The proposal may be good … Continue reading

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TONY KEVIN. Obama’s years of promise and frustration.

For eight years I have delighted in Barack Obama’s words – even richer and more inspiring to see and hear in his ringing tones , than to read in cold print. . Those days are, sadly, about to depart. The … Continue reading

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SPENCER ZIFCAK. Robert Manne v Ramesh Thakur v Gillian Triggs: What on Earth is Going On?

If one were ever in this situation, who would one wish to speak for them: George Brandis or Gillian Triggs? That’s the choice.  

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CHRIS SIDOTI. 30th Anniversary of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Part 2 of 2.

Human rights work has a cost, and we need to remember the cost and the toll that it takes on the people who are doing it. Those who are paying the price need the support of those who are not … Continue reading

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CHRIS SIDOTI. 30th Anniversary of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Part 1 of 2.

Chris Sidoti recounts the context for the establishing of the AHRC, (formerly called the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission) and records the frequent conflicts over the years between the AHRC and the government of the day. This is an … Continue reading

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BRUCE THOM. Agonies of an American scientist under Trump.

A truly great nation must be compassionate, loving, kind, rational and celebrate diversity. 

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PETER DAY. Homelessness v houselessness

We need to change the way we do charity and welfare; we’re out of kilter: lots of giving and receiving of things, but too little giving of ourselves – we just don’t have the time. It hardly needs saying, “People … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Housing, Human Rights | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

RAMESH THAKUR. AHRC President Gillian Triggs: a year of living dangerously. Part 3 of 3.

In hearings before a Senate estimates committee on 18 October, Triggs said her interview had been inaccurately reported, with quotes taken out of context and even fabricated. When the paper’s editor replied they held an audio recording of the interview, … Continue reading

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I am ashamed to be Australian.

I decided to become a photojournalist to help refugees tell their stories, and to show their plight.  I was stunned by the lack of compassion and the outright racism I saw in my countrymen.  I was angry as only a … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. AHRC President Gillian Triggs: a year of living dangerously. Part 2 of 3.

Asylum seekers and children in detention There are four separate issues that typically get lumped into one confusing debate: the policies on asylum seekers, boats turnback and offshore detention; and the treatment of detainees. 

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RAMESH THAKUR. AHRC President Gillian Triggs: a year of living dangerously. Part 1 of 3.

Increasingly, voters are frustrated with parties captured by special interests or catering to noisy minority activists. Citizens want competent governance that promotes the general welfare.  

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Human Rights, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Australia’s Death by Numbers

The dead refugee had a name. But even in death Australia did not want to humanize him. For years now he had been no more than a registration number — BRF063 — under the country’s cruel refugee deterrence system known … Continue reading

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WALTER HAMILTON. Japan’s New Blood

The Australian servicemen who left behind mixed-race children during the postwar Occupation of Japan set in motion changes that are chipping away at a nation’s stubborn myth of racial homogeneity.  

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WALTER HAMILTON. ‘Fighting Monsters’

Australians, Americans and Japanese have been ‘fighting monsters’––the monsters of war remembrance––since 1945. A high-profile visit to Pearl Harbor during the week seemed to suggest another monster was being laid to rest. But while that piece of theatre left much … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. UN rebuffs Netanyahu and Trump.

The United Nations Security Council’s pre-Christmas condemnation of Israel’s construction of settlements in the occupied territories surprised many and infuriated Israel. The move was rebuff to both Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to incoming US President-elect Donald Trump. How … Continue reading

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Broken men in paradise.

‘The world’s refugee crisis knows no more sinister exercise in cruelty than Australia’s island prisons.’ In this long, searing account in the New York Times, Op-ed columnist, Roger Cohen, describes what he found on a recent visit to Manus Island.

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ANDREW AILES. Peace on earth – the children of Aleppo.

Peace on Earth Peace on earth. Goodwill to men, Echoes like Sullivan’s Great Amen: The chord he lost when sitting by, His brother as he watched him die.

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Shakespeare on refugees, strangers and inhumanity.

In a series of speeches written by Shakespeare, Thomas More makes the argument for the humane treatment of those forced to seek asylum after being expelled from their homeland. This is a repost from August 23, 2016.  

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ROBERT MANNE. The Australian’s attacks on Gillian Triggs.

The attack launched by the Australian on Gillian Triggs and the Human Rights Commission has been obsessive, petty, relentless, remorseless and ruthless.

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SPENCER ZIFCAK. The Federal Government Attacks its Watchers

In recent years, the Federal Government has made an art form of undermining the autonomy of independent statutory offices established to hold it to account. One by one, statutory offices have been subject to forceful governmental and media assaults.

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TESSA MORRIS-SUZUKI. The ‘information war’ hits Sydney.

This action by a small number of Japanese in Australia harms the Japanese community itself and demeans the work of those in Japan and elsewhere who have fought so long and hard for historical truth and justice. 

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BRUCE ARNOLD. Open Government, Open to interpretation

If we are indeed open to Open Government a salient demonstration would be facilitating Australian Human Rights Commission  access to what is happening on Australia’s behalf in offshore detention centres. That would be a fine national Christmas present from Turnbull, … Continue reading

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Aung San Suu Kyi’s government appears unable – or unwilling – to halt what some describe as ‘ethnic cleansing’.

The Rohingya in Myanmar are facing increasing attacks and harassment. Australia and the region must be prepared to respond. 

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Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration – the desperate situation of Rohingya in Myanmar.

Situation in Rakhine State in Myanmar of grave concern – the region must be on high alert. Mass displacement inevitable if violence continues to escalate.

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IAN WEBSTER. Amid chaos, ethics.

Speaking particularly of the treatment people in Manus and Nauru, Professor Ian Webster argues that in this secular and chaotic world, the values and principles of the professional codes of health workers could be used to frame their future contributions … Continue reading

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PETER JOHNSTONE. The Royal Commission and the Catholic Church’s Dysfunctional Governance

  In May 2016, the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released Issues Paper 11 – Catholic Church Final Hearing, inviting submissions for its final Catholic Church hearing scheduled for three weeks 6-24 February 2017. That … Continue reading

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ERIN GILLEN. The Symbolism of a Trump Victory

  Much has been said about how Trump was elected and what a Trump presidency will realistically mean for America and the world; my interest is in the symbolism of his election, and the failed campaign of the first female … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. The Tragedy of Trump

  If nothing else Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election is compelling evidence that the neo-liberal project has been a catastrophic public policy failure. Blindly believing that he is their saviour, the victims of neo-liberalism’s caustic consequences have … Continue reading

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