human rights news & views

Happy 5th birthday RightsBase!

Happy birthday to RightsBase which turns five years old today. Five years on, RightsBase is still produced in Australia by Olivia Ball and her Lovely Assistant. RightsBase's purview is "human rights news and views."  In over 150 articles, RightsBase has covered a broad gamut of human rights concerns in over 100 countries. It tends not […]

Even villains have rights

The "villains' charter" debate has reached Australia, it would seem. Reviewing Victoria's Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 12 months after it came into effect, the Sunday Herald-Sun's 'star political reporter' Ellen Whinnett wrote last month that the Charter had been "hijacked by criminals." Her view echoes Britain's Daily Mail which attacks the UK's 'disastrous' […]

Indivisibility in action: toilets for education

The right to water, the right to health, the right to life, the right to education. They all tie in to something as simple and unmentionable as sanitation. Yes, toilets. The most basic will do, plus some way to wash your hands. One kind that is inadequate is the ‘flying toilet’ found in unsewered shantytowns. […]

‘A great day for persons with disabilities’

They did it. Negotiations of the UN ad hoc committee concluded successfully late on Friday with an agreed text to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention will be presented for adoption by the General Assembly in September. Says Committee Chair Don MacKay: “This marks a great day for the UN […]

Housing crisis in Australia: UN

Indian architect Miloon Kothari has been UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing since 2000. He has just concluded a visit to Australia to assess compliance with human rights obligations in relation to housing. Since ratifying the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1976, Australia has been obliged to fulfil […]

First human rights treaty for the 21st century?

After 5 years of negotiations, there’s a race to find agreement among the UN’s 192 member nations on a treaty to  protect explicitly the rights of people with disabilities in time to have it adopted at the next meeting of the General Assembly in September. Writes the UN’s Thomas Schindlmayr, who suffered a permanent spinal […]