human rights news & views

Australia affirms children’s rights

Australia has finally ratified the two optional protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The protocols, which extend the original treaty with additional provisions of equal standing, relate to the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (OP-CRC-SC) and to the involvement of children in armed conflict (OP-CRC-AC). The 1989 […]

We are all Hrant Dink

Ethnic-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink has been shot dead in broad daylight outside his newspaper office in Istanbul. Turkish authorities have condemned the killing. Respected editor and columnist, 52 year-old Dink had faced death threats and legal action for his views on the 1915-18 genocide of Armenians under the Ottoman empire. And yet he was an […]

Millennium Goals offer security to rich nations

Leading economist Jeffrey Sachs says ending poverty will relieve security concerns of rich nations. Dr Sachs, best-selling author of The End of Poverty currently serving as Special Adviser to the UN on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), says conflict in places such as the Horn of Africa is fuelled by poverty: "This isn’t a crisis […]

35,000 Iraqi civilians killed in 2006

Nearly 35,000 civilians were killed in Iraq last year, according to the UN. It’s an astonishing but unsurprising figure, given the daily reports of carnage. As the United States mourns the death of over 3,000 of its troops sent to Iraq since the 2003 invasion, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq reports 34,452 civilians were […]

Australia’s position on Hicks ‘disingenuous & grossly inaccurate’

Former chief justice Alastair Nicholson has written a scathing rebuttal of Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock’s defence of his government’s abandonment of David Hicks, the Australian citizen still imprisoned by the US at Guantánamo Bay after more than five years. Nicholson’s point, made clearly and authoritatively, is that Hicks cannot get a fair trial by US […]

Housing to become legal right in France

Homeless people in France will have legal redress if a draft bill is passed in the current parliamentary session. Homelessness was forced onto the French political agenda when fires in inadequate, overcrowded Paris housing killed almost 50 people in 2005. The issue has been kept alive by the ‘Children of Don Quixote’, a small voluntary […]

Worst year ever for journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says 84 journalists were killed worldwide in 2006. Include media support staff such as interpreters and drivers, and that figure climbs to 177, the worst on record. At least 155 of those were murders and unexplained deaths, according to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the remaining 22 being […]