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Articles on Human rights

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Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton holds up Azaria’s death certificate, confirming her daughter’s death by dingo attack. AAP/Patrina Malone

Lessons from the Chamberlain case: the human cost of wrongful conviction

The Azaria Chamberlain case is a reminder that the criminal justice system does get it wrong, with each error bearing its own human cost. On Tuesday, the Northern Territory Coroner’s office concluded an…
Does Anders Breivik deserve human contact? EPA

With friends like Anders Breivik: is human contact a right?

Does Anders Breivik deserve friends? The Norwegian justice system thinks so. It is often said that the humanity of a society can be judged by the way it treats its most disadvantaged citizens, even those…
Gaddafi’s son may not get a fair trial in Libya. EPA/Mast Irham

Should Saif al-Islam Gaddafi be tried in Libya or the Hague?

The Government of Libya filed an application before the International Criminal Court earlier this month to challenge the admissibility of the cases against Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Muammar Gaddafi’s son…
Finally children’s rights will be represented at the national level in Australia. Flickr/vastateparksstaff

A long wait: Australia finally gets a Children’s Commissioner

A national Children’s Commissioner to champion the rights of Australia’s young people was announced last week by the Gillard government. The long overdue announcement is a welcome development and should…
Discrimination on the basis of irrelevant criminal records is rife in Australia. Flickr/Waponi

Unfair punishment: when criminal record checks lead to discrimination

Applying for a job is stressful enough, but if you have a criminal record, even if it’s not relevant to the job you’re applying for, it can be a nightmare. Employers in Australia regularly discriminate…
Jose Maria Vasconcelos (or Taur Matan Ruak) is the new president of East Timor, but will he do more for the women in his country? AAP/Antonio Dasiparu

East Timor: new President, same problems for women

The recent election of José Maria de Vasconcelos, or Taur Matan Ruak as he is known, to the Presidency of Timor-Leste is not good news for women in that country. Adding yet another member of the male military…
Intellectually disabled children who undergo the “Ashley procedure” are stunted to prevent the onset of puberty. flickr/visions by vicky

Ashley’s treatment: the arrested development of a disabled child

A growing number of parents are seeking the “Ashley Treatment,” a highly experimental medical intervention designed to arrest the physical and sexual development of severely disabled children. This invasive…
The government’s obligations to immigration detainees are very similar to those of prisoners. AAP/Dean Lewins

After Serco, what rights do asylum seekers have in detention?

A training manual instructing immigration detention centre guards to use force to incapacitate detainees was leaked this week. It included techniques to kick, punch and target pressure points on detainees…
The new Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon needs to commit to more serious reforms of human rights in Australia. Flickr/Takver

A flawed and limited plan: Australia’s human rights failures to continue

While Australia makes much of its human rights standards in international dialogues, its own track record is variable to say the least – human rights concerns around the Northern Territory intervention…
The covers of two of the first editions of Tintin. AAP

Tintin, human rights and politics

An upsurge of interest in Tintin, the cartoon boy reporter who was the creation of Belgian artist Hergé (1907-1983), has accompanied the release of the Tintin movie, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret…
Newly appointed Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon may be surprised to find the bill of rights she doesn’t want is already in place. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Roxon got it right: we don’t need a bill of rights because we’ve already got one

The new Commonwealth Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon has said that in her new role she would not push for a bill of rights to be included in the constitution. But many would be surprised to learn she doesn’t…
Occupy protestors have a right to protest; police powers to move them on from public spaces should be questioned. RynChristophe/Youtube

Moving right along: what powers do police have to ‘move-on’ protestors?

When police removed a young woman’s “tent dress” this week at the Occupy Melbourne encampment, it was yet another controversial interaction between protesters and authorities. As shown in the Occupy movement…
Julia Gillard spoke to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa about allegations of human rights abuses at a pre-CHOGM summit. AAP Image/Reuters/Daniel Munoz

CHOGM: Do we need a Commonwealth Human Rights Commissioner?

CHOGM As the meeting between Commonwealth Heads of Government kicks off in Perth, a row is brewing over the idea for a new Commissioner on democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Holly Cullen from…
The conflict still looms large in Sri Lanka - half a million land mines are still scattered throughout the country, and there’s a huge international effort to clear them. AFP/Ishara S.Kodikara

Why the Commonwealth must take action against Sri Lankan war crimes

CHOGM: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is among the Commonwealth leaders gathering in Perth this week. But his government is accused of committing war crimes against its own people. Ben Saul, Professor…
US sailors load cluster bombs onto an aircraft before an attack on targets in Afghanistan. AAP

Australia’s cluster bomb conundrum

Cluster bombs are currently the subject of considerable humanitarian concern internationally because of their indiscriminate effect. Every year, thousands of civilians, many of them children, are killed…

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