The daughter of a man being held indefinitely on Manus Island, despite being found to be a refugee, will travel to Canberra today to ask politicians to reunite her family, who have been separated for three and a half years by the government’s offshore detention policies.
Today the Commission for Children and Young People released a scathing report, The Same Four Walls, detailing widespread isolation of children in Victoria’s youth justice centres. "You can’t respond to inadequate staffing levels by just leaving kids locked up in the cells for hours on end. It’s time for the Victorian Government to stop taking short cuts and to start properly resourcing the youth justice system," the HRLC's Alina Leikin.
“Unfortunately, as it stands, Territory women still run the risk of criminal prosecution for later term abortions. This is simply unacceptable and carries with it cruel consequences," said Adrianne Walters, Director of Legal Advocacy at the HRLC.
As of today, same sex couples have equal access to assisted reproductive technology and unpaid surrogacy in South Australia. The last direct discrimination against LGBTIQ couples in South Australian legislation has now been removed, but federal marriage equality laws still need to be passed for same sex couples to be treated equally in Australia.
Proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act unveiled today by the Australian Government are unnecessary and risk encouraging racist hate speech in the community. The HRLC's Executive Director, Hugh de Kretser, said the Government has its priorities wrong.
The Victorian Government must address the underlying causes of damaging incidents in youth justice centres including staffing and lockdowns, the Human Rights Law Centre has said in a submission to a Victorian Parliamentary inquiry
Less then a month before the Supreme Court hears the third legal challenge to the Victorian Government's decision to detain children at the Barwon maximum security adult prison, lawyers are concerned that the use of extreme practices appears to be increasing.
“We are seeing a clear and worrying wave of state-based laws that restrict the ability of Australians to stand together and speak out on issues that they care deeply about. The government may disagree with protesters' views on a particular issue, but shutting down peaceful assemblies only serves to weaken our democracy,” said HRLC's Emily Howie.
“All the data shows that these laws are being overwhelmingly used against Aboriginal people. Twenty-six years ago the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody made clear that locking someone up should only ever be a last resort and that police should be required to consider safer options,” said HRLC's Adrianne Walters.
In a submission filed with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade consultation on a new Foreign Policy White Paper, the Human Rights Law Centre has urged Australia to raise the bar on its foreign policy and aim to be a principled and consistent leader in human rights and a staunch defender of international law.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should make the most of his seemingly close relationship with Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo to push for unfettered media access and human rights monitoring in Papua.
“Under current laws and guidelines, if the Bali 9 case happened again today, nothing would prevent the AFP from acting in the same way. Yesterday’s announcement of amending AFP guidelines does not change that. If the government were serious about prohibiting information sharing it would legislate to prevent it from happening,” said Emily Howie.
Queensland MPs stand at a crossroads when it comes to the state's abortion laws, but one thing is abundantly clear: the status quo is unacceptable. New polling released this week shows overwhelming public support for women's right to choose abortion in Queensland and that voters are turned off by MPs who support criminalising abortion.
To achieve the Close the Gap measures, the federal and territory governments need to engage in genuine dialogue with Aboriginal people. The chronic crisis of overcrowding can only be addressed through a collaborative approach, with a view to ultimately giving control back to Aboriginal communities.