Palm Island Inquest Resumes (again)

It is well over five years since Mulrunji Doomagee died in police custody on Palm Island, his ribs broken and his liver nearly sliced in two.  Previous coronial inquests and trials have wound a tortuous path, with various assertions about the cause of death ranging from the consequences of a “complicated fall” to suggestions Mulrunji’s…

Continue reading →

It was 20 years ago today.

It was 20 years ago today. On 20 November 1989, the international Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) was formally adopted.  According http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/11/18/us-ratify-children-s-treaty?tr=y&auid=5614841 to Human Rights Watch, the Convention became “the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history.  Twenty years on, only two countries have failed to ratify the Convention…

Continue reading →

Good and bad ways to reduce boat arrivals

Peter Mares is a long time follower of refugee issues and critic of the problems inherent in the former government’s approach to asylum seekers in boats.  He wrote a piece in The Age which emphasised a point about the Howard’s government asylum policies which does not get highlighted enough. former treasurer Peter Costello wrote in…

Continue reading →

Wednesday night politics in Brisbane

Wednesday night politics in Brisbane Two forums are being held in Brisbane tomorrow night which may be of interest to some. One is a forum to debate Integrity & Accountability in Queensland. It is being held at the Irish Club, 175 Elizabeth St  from  6pm.  Speakers include former state Attorney-General, Linda Lavarch, journalist Tony Koch,…

Continue reading →

Report on the Pacific & climate change forum

Last night I attended the public forum I wrote about here, featuring Pacific Island peoples speaknig about the impacts of climate change on their homelands, health and cultures. It was very well attended and the speakers were engaging and enlightening. I’ve published a piece about it over at Crikey at this link. If for some…

Continue reading →

Malaysia and refugees

The political responses to asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat is starting to focus more and more on other countries in our region.  Until recently this has mostly involved Indonesia, but Malaysia is now being mentioned more frequently.  I recently wrote a piece for Crikey and also had a letter published in The Australian…

Continue reading →

Online public consultations

There is less than a week to go for people to put in personal submissions for the national human rights consultations, with the general cut off date this coming Monday, 15 June.  If you were planning on having your say on how best to protect and promote human rights and responsibilities, now is the time…

Continue reading →

The Speech

As the speech itself acknowledges, a single speech can’t resolve things.  But it is impossible to overstate how significant it would be if the vision President Obama expresses and aspires to in this speech is successful.  The text of the speech is here, or here for translations into 14 other languages.  It is worth taking…

Continue reading →

Malalai Joya returns

I first wrote on this blog about Afghan women’s rights activist, Malalai Joya, at the end of 2005.  In 2007 I got the chance to hear her speak in Brisbane.  I am pleasantly surprised that she has still managed to avoid being assassinated, and also pleased she will soon be visiting Australia again to speak…

Continue reading →

For Brisbane people interested in human rights…

There are a couple of interesting events being held next week in Brisbane. On Tuesday night at the Uni of Qld, two films about children: The first is called “Child in Charge” on the lives of child-headed families – children who have raised their siblings in post-genocide Rwanda.  Director Kym Rolle will also be there…

Continue reading →

Best blog posts of 2008

Once again this Club Troppo and Online Opinion have joined to reproduce a collection of  some of the best blog posts of 2008.  They are featuring regularly at Online Opinion throughout January. I’ve had some of my pieces published in the collection in previous years. I didn’t expect to have a piece featured this year,…

Continue reading →

Human Rights Day reminder

The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is being marked with a range of functions all around the country.  Brisbane has a function at the State LIbrary during the day, plus a public forum followed by a supper in the evening. Details below. Please like & share:

Continue reading →

Human Rights Seminar in Canberra

I’m speaking in Canberra on Wednesday night at the last in a series of three free seminars to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The seminar is hosted by the local branch of Amnesty International.  I will be providing a human rights perspective on the issues of migration and…

Continue reading →

Award for Hu Jia, Chinese democracy activist

I wrote back in April about Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia, jailed by the Chinese authorities, with his wife and baby daughter kept under house arrest.  He has just been awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Europe’s most prestigious human rights prize, by the European Parliament. Please like & share:

Continue reading →