Category Archives: Human Rights

NICK SEDDON. Democracy in danger. Or, how to get GetUp.

Proposed amendments to the Electoral Act if enacted will profoundly constrain or shut down political advocacy that is the lifeblood of a healthy democracy.

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 1 Comment

SUSAN RYAN. Ruddock and the religious freedom review.

In commercial matters religious freedom needs no further protection. There is no case for extending exemptions from existing anti-discrimination measures to the commercial provision of facilities, catering, furniture or entertainment that may play a part in hospitality following a marriage. Such … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. It’s time for a Human Rights Act for Australia -A repost

In Pearls and Irritations recently, Elizabeth Evatt (Why not protect all our rights and freedoms?) called for a Human Rights Act to protect all our rights and freedoms and not just freedom of religion.  The issue of freedom of religion … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 4 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. What happened to my Australian accent?

I spent the summer of 1983-84 in the Philippines. During this time I fell in love with the Philippines and its people and felt ashamed to be Australian.

Posted in Human Rights | 2 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE. Australia Day and all that.

The moral basis of contemporary Australian society is being squeezed dry by political opportunism and contempt for civic virtue among our political leaders. The ignorance those leaders demonstrate about the insult Australia Day has become for many Indigenous people is … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 1 Comment

JERRY ROBERTS. Change the date of the day by all means and change Australia

Let’s change the date of Australia Day, not just for Aboriginal public relations, but to prove that we can do something – anything – to cast off the chains of our pusillanimous politicians and their little mates, the boofhead media … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 11 Comments

CERIDWEN DOVEY. The mapping of indigenous massacres in Australia [New Yorker]

From New York to Cape Town to Sydney, the bronze body doubles of the white men of empire—Columbus, Rhodes, Cook—have lately been pelted with feces, sprayed with graffiti, had their hands painted red. Some have been toppled. The fate of … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Domestic violence, not terrorism, is the big killer in Australia- A REOST from November 10 2017

Compared to other risks, we have little to fear from terrorism. In the last two decades only three people in Australia have died from terrorism. But there is a ‘vividness’ bias in terrorism because it stands out in our minds. … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 6 Comments

STAN GRANT- We ignore our racist past-A REPOST from August 21 2017

I passed by Hyde Park this week in the heart of Sydney and looked again on the statue of Captain James Cook. It has pride of place, a monument to the man who in 1770 claimed this continent for the … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. A Human Rights Bill 2009.

As part of our campaign for a national Human Rights Act, a Bill was drafted to ‘respect, protect and promote Human Rights for Australia’.  This model Bill formed the core of our group’s submission to the National Human Rights Consultation, … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. A campaign from 2005, for a Human Rights Act for Australia.

In 2005, Susan Ryan, Spencer Zifcak and others, in association with New Matilda, launched a campaign for a Human Rights Act for Australia. This campaign is outlined in the following. It formed part of a submission to Frank Brennan SJ … Continue reading

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JUDE McCULLOCH, JANEMAREE MAHER, KATE FITZ-GIBBON AND SANDRA WALKLATE. Finally, police are taking family violence as seriously as terrorism.

Victoria Police recently announced that family violence perpetrators will be treated as seriously as terrorists and murderers.  This strategy represents a major milestone in the evolving police approach to family violence. Though family violence results in far more death and injury, terrorism … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Human Rights | 1 Comment

ALLAN PATIENCE. Melbourne’s South Sudanese youth problem and the confection of a crime gang crisis.

That there are groups of disaffected and anti-social youths of Sudanese (and other) origin in Melbourne is not in dispute. What is at issue is the way it is being handled by the yellow press and by right wing politicians.

Posted in Human Rights | 8 Comments

MICK PALMER. Australia’s Illicit Drugs Policy – There Really is a better Way A REPOST

It happens time and time again. We are told breathlessly  by the media  with photos of bags of seized drugs flanked by Border Protection officials and police officers about how   successful  we are in containing the drug problem.. But is … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Human Rights | 3 Comments

CHRISTINA HO. Racist reporting still rife in Australian media

Half of all race-related opinion pieces in the Australian mainstream media are likely to contravene industry codes of conduct on racism.

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Hunger and disease haunt Rohingya refugees

‘Sometimes we borrow from neighbors or we starve’  

Posted in Human Rights, Refugees, Immigration | Comments Off on Hunger and disease haunt Rohingya refugees

KIM OATES. The Royal Commission, a beginning, not an end.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is testament to both the evil in our society and to the courage and determination of many of the victims. But we need to be aware that most child sexual … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 4 Comments

KEVIN PEOPLES. An end of sorts.

There is a time for everything …a time to be silent and a time to speak…Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 Today the Royal Commission came to an end. I feel as if I have lost a friend. It seems somehow improper to say … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

FRANK BRENNAN. A Catholic reflection on the Royal Commission as the curtain closes on Act One.

On Friday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which has been part of the Australian political and ecclesial landscape for the last five years, will cease to exist.  The commission will present its report to the … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 13 Comments

GEORGE BROWNING. Child sexual abuse, the Church and the Royal Commission.

The findings of the Commission have sent shock waves through the institutional Church and generated disgust in the wider community. Is there any good news, any reason to hope for something better? 

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

JOAN STAPLES: Incredulous disbelief at Gary Johns to head charities regulator.

The appointment of Gary Johns last week as director of the regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), has created incredulous disbelief and concern amongst NGO leaders.  For decades, Johns has been proactive in criticising the public advocacy of … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Human Rights, Politics | 5 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Malcolm Turnbull ran dead on SSM

Malcolm Turnbull may not have wished to appear churlish last Thursday after the final vote on the same sex marriage bill, but he had no choice: that was his job.  So rather than following the parliament to embrace bipartisanship at … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 5 Comments

KATHARINE BETTS AND BOB BIRRELL. How do Australian voters’ view the level of immigration? TAPRI and Scanlon compared

There has been growing controversy about Australia’s level of overseas immigration. In the year to March 2017 Australia’s population is estimated to have grown by a massive 389,100, some 231,000, or 60 per cent of which was due to net … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Human Rights, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

KIERAN TAPSELL. The Royal Commission Report on the Melbourne Archdiocese

On 5 December 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released a redacted version of its Report of Case Study No. 35: the Archdiocese of Melbourne. It strongly criticized Church personnel for failure to protect children … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

ROSS GWYTHER. A sledgehammer for a walnut ?

Unbeknown to most Australians, a court case has been underway in Alice Springs over the past few months with implications far and wide.  Employing a sixty year old law drafted during the height of the anti-communist 1950s in Australia, the … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

JOAN STAPLES. Government targets international philanthropy for civil society.

A Bill expected to be introduced by the Government this week, may deliberately create confusion by linking foreign donations to political parties, with foreign donations to civil society organisations.  It is expected to propose banning both.

Posted in Environment and climate, Human Rights, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

ELIZABETH EVATT. Why not protect all our rights and freedoms?

The proposal to legislate for freedom of thought ,conscience and religion, as provided in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a half measure which would leave other rights and freedoms without equivalent protection. And it may not … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 3 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. What silent majority?

The best thing about the same sex marriage survey (apart, of course, from the entirely predictable numbers) is that it finally and conclusively disproves the myth of the silent majority – the conservative fantasy that somehow, somewhere, there is a … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 1 Comment

FRANK BRENNAN. Same sex marriage and freedom of religion

On Wednesday, the ABS will announce the results of the survey on same sex marriage. The return rate on the survey is a very credible 78.5 per cent. In Ireland only 60.5 per cent of eligible voters turned out.  

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 12 Comments

SPENCER ZIFCAK. Australia elected to UN Human Rights Council – despite international condemnation.

Two weeks ago, Australia was chosen as one of two new member nations on the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). Before one gets too excited about this achievement it is worth noting that our country’s election was uncontested. There were three … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs, International Affairs | 1 Comment