Category Archives: Human Rights

TONY SMITH. The farcical appeal to ‘family values’

Some opponents of marriage equality have resorted to spurious arguments about ‘family values’. The record of arch-conservatives on war, overseas aid, asylum seekers, Indigenous affairs, the social safety net, free market capitalism, the working poor and the monarchy suggests that … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 2 Comments

MICHAEL SAINSBURY. In defence of the tragic, impotent silence of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Can Pope Francis help with her effective silence over the Rohingya crisis being perpetrated by Myanmar’s military that is a measure of her government’s helplessness?

Posted in Human Rights, International Affairs | 1 Comment

FRANK BRENNAN. We need a Bill of Rights

As Attorney General Lionel Bowen dedicated a lot of time and energy to a Bill of Rights. He introduced legislation which was doomed. But he outlined the principles for an Australian Human Rights Bill espousing the preconditions for the common … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

KOMALA RAMACHANDRA. Australia’s ‘Modern Slavery’ Proposal Falls Short

In mid-August Australia’s justice minister proposed a new law requiring the country’s biggest companies to report on their practices and policies to prevent forced labour in their operations and supply chains. The government wants to ensure that consumer products like food, electronics, … Continue reading

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MICHAEL MULLINS. Civil and religious marriage are best kept separate.

By conflating the civil law with religious ritual, we create confusion that makes it easy for the Church to claim authority that rightfully belongs to the state. In other words, the Church makes demands regarding sacramental marriage, which of course … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Religion and Faith | 5 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. Developing an inclusive and sustainable economy (Speech launching the 2017 Social Justice Statement, 7 September 2017)

We’re here to launch Everyone’s Business: Developing an Inclusive and Sustainable Economy. 25 years ago, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference published Common Wealth for the Common Good: A Statement on the Distribution of Wealth in Australia. Michael Costigan and Sandie … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Are we stopping the boats to save lives at sea?

To justify its harsh refugee policies, the government has been telling us that its policies are designed to save lives at sea.  The ALP also joins in this shabby chorus

Posted in Defence/Security, Human Rights, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | Tagged , | 4 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. ‘Come on chaps,I am right behind you’

It was not the end; it was not even the beginning of the end. But it was, finally, the end of the beginning.  The High Court has at last fanned the long smouldering same sex marriage into flame, and now … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 6 Comments

PAUL GREGOIRE AND UGUR NEDIM. Asylum seekers left destitute at hands of Dutton

Stooping to a new low, the Turnbull government has begun cutting off the welfare payment to vulnerable asylum seekers and given these people three weeks to vacate their government-supported accommodation.

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KATHARIN R. LESTARI. Indonesia speaks up as global support for Rohingya grows

The Indonesian government has stepped up its support for ethnic Muslim Rohingya promising humanitarian aid and a new hospital in their homeland in Myanmar’s Rakhine State as the military continues to torch villages while battling homegrown insurgents.

Posted in Human Rights, International Affairs | 1 Comment

TEJSHREE THAPA. Watching Burma in Flames from Bangladesh

I stood at the edge of the Naf River on the Bangladesh border watching heavy smoke rise from a village on the Burma side. Bangladeshi border guards talked of fires all along the border targeting villages of Rohingya Muslims.

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ARCHBISHOP FISHER. Does Pope Francis support same-sex marriage?

A number of commentators have recently suggested that loyalty to Catholic teaching, and especially to Pope Francis, would allow, even require, support for same-sex marriage; by implication, the Australian bishops misunderstand Catholic teaching and have been disloyal to Pope Francis … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 4 Comments

PETER DAY. When Church leaders forget to tell the story that liberates.

Human sexuality is a complex and fragile thing; far greyer than black or white. It is best tended to by gentle, wise, and humble hands – religious leaders might like to consider dropping their megaphone diplomacy, then?

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Religion and Faith | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. When will Saudi Arabia be brought to account for its malign influence and promotion of terrorism?

Through its support of extremist Wahabism, the Saudi government has been promoting radical Islam around the world. Its influence has included funding schools, universities and mosques in over 80 countries. But like the issue of the burqa, few Australians want … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Human Rights, International Affairs, Religion and Faith | 5 Comments

John Menadue. The burqa and hijab – public space must be neutral and secular.-a repost

The burqa and the hijab are stale news in France. There has been an important debate and discussion on Muslim head and body covering in France for many years. The simple head dress or hijab, turbans and kippas have been … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

STAN GRANT. America tears down its racist history, we ignore ours

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

TONY SMITH. After the high hopes of Garma, disappointment sets in.

Last weekend, Indigenous leaders gathered at the Garma festival in north east Arnhem Land. The coverage on NITV showed a distinct slide from initial politeness and hope to disappointment and anger.

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs | 1 Comment

Australia’s Desperate Refugee Obstinacy

[An article  by Roger Cohen reposted from the New York Times] BYRON BAY, Australia — Now we know how desperate Australia is to close the shameful chapter in its history that has seen about 2,000 asylum-seekers and refugees — some … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. The Case for Recognition of Palestine

A speech given by the Honourable Bob Carr at the NSW ALP Conference on 30 July 2017

Posted in Human Rights, International Affairs | 1 Comment

FRANK BRENNAN. The bi-partisanship shame of refugee policy

What possessed Filippo Grandi, the relatively new United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to go public last week, having a go at Australia for our government’s treatment of unvisaed asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat? He repeated UNHCR’s … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Refugees, Immigration, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

SPENCER ZIFCAK. What’s Wrong with Peter Dutton’s New Super Ministry? The Preparation, the Institution, and the Politician Perhaps?

Peter Dutton is to be given a fiefdom – the new, massive Department of Home Affairs. Peta Credlin responded immediately by saying that the creation of the new department had the ‘stink of a prime minister who’s under pressure and … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Human Rights | 1 Comment

Aleppo and Fallujah. (Repost from 30 December 2016)

In light of the civilian disaster unfolding presently in Aleppo, it is timely to revisit the uncontradicted claims unwarranted action against civilians in Fallujah supervised by Australian military commander, Jim Molan. This piece was first published in 2008. If correct, … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Beware, armed response.

If Turnbull’s plan becomes law – and the prospects of the Opposition stopping anything to do with ‘fighting terrorism’ are remote – we can expect a terrorist attack to trigger an emergency response from the Special Operations Command, whose officers … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Human Rights | 3 Comments

GREG AUSTIN. Australians have little to fear from terrorism at home – here’s why. (Repost from 24 October 2016)

According to an ANU poll, more than half of the country’s adults are concerned Australia will be a target for terrorism at home and strongly believe the government needs to introduce greater preventive measures to combat it. But the reality … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Human Rights, International Affairs, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

ROBYN SAMPSON. Ending child immigration detention is just a matter of time.

Momentum is growing around the world to end child immigration detention. All major human rights experts now agree that immigration detention is a child rights violation. Meanwhile, more and more countries are passing laws that prohibit child immigration detention.

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BRIAN TOOHEY. Prevention better than cure when it comes to terror

We shouldn’t  trash our own values to  support harsh anti-terrorism policies that don’t guarantee more security. There is a wealth of evidence about what does and what does not help to protect us from terrorism, and we’re doing too much … Continue reading

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SPENCER ZIFCAK. The Black Hearts Behind Australia’s Offshore Detention Policy

So, the Australian Government has settled a class action brought by asylum seekers detained on Manus Island for $70,000,000. Apparently, the settlement was reached because the Government was fearful of the evidence and stories of official abuse that would have … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Refugees, Immigration | 4 Comments

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

For over half a century Australian Governments have relied heavily on law enforcement to curb the drug trade, but, despite increasingly sophisticated and efficient policing strategies and operations Australia’s illicit drugs problems have continued getting bigger and the marketplace ever … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Human Rights | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. We need to better understand terrorism – how we got here and how best to respond.

The terrorist attacks in Manchester and London have received a deluge of media coverage. However, terrorism is much worse in the Middle East and other countries. Terrorism is a vivid political act, but deaths from gun violence, car accidents drugs, … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Human Rights, International Affairs | 3 Comments

GEORGE BROWNING. Monotheism, Terrorism and Injustice

I want to reflect on the unspeakably appalling terror events that have occurred recently in Afghanistan, Iraq, Manchester, London, Melbourne and Tehran in the light of monotheistic religion and the ethical requirements that flow from it.  

Posted in Defence/Security, Human Rights, International Affairs, Religion and Faith | Tagged | 1 Comment