Articles on Australia

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In this October 2011 photo, members of the Royal New Zealand defense force pump sea water into holding tanks ready to be used by the desalination plant in Funafuti, Tuvalu, South Pacific. The atolls of Tuvalu are at grave risk due to rising sea levels and contaminated ground water. AP Photo/Alastair Grant

UN ruling could be a game-changer for climate refugees and climate action

A recent ruling by the UN's Human Rights Committee recognized that climate refugees do exist, and acknowledged a legal basis for protecting them when their lives are threatened by climate change.
The United Nations predicts the world will be home to nearly 10 billion people by 2050 – making global greenhouse emission cuts ever more urgent. NASA/Joshua Stevens

As Earth’s population heads to 10 billion, does anything Australians do on climate change matter?

To be clear, I'm not advocating compulsory population control, here or anywhere. But we do need to consider a future with billions more people, many of them aspiring to live as Australians do now.
Image from ‘Criminal man, according to the classification of Cesare Lombroso’ (1911). Internetarchivebookimages/Flickr

How tattoos became fashionable in Victorian England

We may think tattooing is a modern phenomenon, but the reasons for its popularity are not dissimilar to those seen in the prisons and convict ships of the Victorian era.
Suburban infrastructure growth has resulted in functional landscapes designed to serve the growing needs of urban peripheries. Zhu Hongzhi/Unsplash

The suburbs can help cities in the fight against climate change

Located at the edges of cities, suburbs have a role to play in urban resilience to disasters caused or exacerbated by climate change.
In a deeply tragic irony, the two victims who lost their lives to a man who made a mockery of their idealism were assisted by two others who appear to have genuinely benefited from prison rehabilitation programs. AAP/EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

Lessons on terrorism and rehabilitation from the London Bridge attack

Prison rehabilitation programs are difficult, but to give up and do nothing would be not merely cynical, but self-defeating.
Australian media coverage of China can feel alienating to Chinese migrants, but most still hold a positive view of their adopted country. Lukas Coch/AAP

New research shows Chinese migrants don’t always side with China and are happy to promote Australia

In a recent survey, a majority of Chinese migrants said they rarely share negative stories about Australia on their social media platforms, and actually side with Australia more on human rights.
The UN said it was ‘seriously concerned’ about the rise in mental health problems among children in Australia, including those from refugee and asylum-seeking families. Erik Anderson/AAP

‘The Australian government is not listening’: how our country is failing to protect its children

In a recent report, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child was highly critical of the Australian government for its youth justice failures and the rise of children with mental health issues.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne has made clear that Yang Hengjun was not spying on behalf of Australia, but it may matter little in China, where the conviction rate is more than 99%. Bianca de Marchi/AAP

Yang Hengjun’s legal prospects in China appear grim, despite Australia’s forceful defences

The detained writer is entitled to Australian consular access while in prison in China, but like other detained Chinese-Australians, Canberra has few other legal options to help him.

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