Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs: A Reflection

29/07/2019

Despite having two other books to read for university and a topic to read up on for an upcoming internship role, I impulsively bought Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs and read it within a few days because bookshops are a (wonderful) trap. I am glad I did get it, though, because while my knowledge of international and Australian law is passable (read as: probably not great, but most people I know, in the nicest terms, don’t have a clue so I appear intelligent), there is always more to learn, a fact to add to your arsenal. When the topic is humanitarian issues, the outcome literally means life and death.

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“Deeply Concerned” Hypocrites

15/07/2019

Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Marise Payne, added Canberra’s voice to a letter to the UN regarding China’s human rights record in Xinjiang. For a few years now, attention has been brought to the over 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim groups being held in what have been described as detention centres by human rights bodies and ‘re-education centres’ by the Chinese government. Payne’s signing of the letter might’ve been worth looking favourably on, if Australia didn’t have its own detention centres.

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Australia Could Learn from Costa Rica

08/07/2019

When I think of Latin America, the first thing that comes to mind is the political turmoil infecting most of the continent. That’s a large step away from many of the people I know who would say they’ve never heard of Nicaragua, or my brothers who know Peru because they’re big fans of llamas. But it’s the small country between Nicaragua and Panama, surprisingly devoid of most of their neighbours’ strife, that all of us could learn a few things from – Costa Rica.

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Silencing Powerful Voices

07/07/2019

When I say “powerful”, I don’t just mean people in positions of actual political power. I mean powerful in the sense that the words of these individuals, or groups of people, have immense weight. Whether it is a single person or a population, many powerful voices are being silenced, and it’s up to the rest of us to ensure they are heard again.

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Disavowing Trumpism Now

05/07/2019

As the days, months, years tick by, more and more people supposedly realise that support for populist movements like Trump in the US is not the greatest image. This can be seen through the seemingly constant stream of GOP members jumping ship and/or standing against whatever recent crisis the President has sparked. But this proffers a few curious questions, not the least of which is, why it has taken so long for people to come to this conclusion?

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Quick Quips: I’ll Drink to That

03/07/2019

“If you voted Greens then get out of the house!” Thankfully, I didn’t get drunk that night, otherwise there may have been quite the political hurricane amid the reserved celebrations of the evening. Head down, amiable but fake smile, avoiding the gaze of my chuckling friend as the older man praised “ol’ Trumpy”. Some whiskey and a nod later, crisis was averted – a friend’s birthday saved. I’ll drink to that.

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Israel Isn’t Building, It’s Demolishing

17/06/2019

Headline after headline shot across social media and the news earlier this week about Ramat Trump – Trump Heights. This apparently new town was announced and celebrated by Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. Only, there is no new town.

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Australia Owes Timor-Leste Reparations

16/06/2019

I have written before about the shameful way in which Australia (and the US and Indonesia by extension) has treated the young country to our northwest. Our support of the Indonesian dictator Suharto, involvement in forming the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) (and subsequent withdrawal in 2002), and the espionage we committed against Timor-Leste during negotiations have all had massive consequences.

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US Declarations Are Not Law

15/06/2019

To the contrary, much of what the US does on an international stage (and some may argue national as well) is in blatant opposition to international law. Nowhere is this more obvious than its unconditional backing of Israeli colonial dreams against the Palestinians.

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Amnesty International Calls for Rethink on Myanmar Relations

15/06/2019

Amnesty International (AI) released a report on May 29th calling on the UNSC and international partners to rethink the current approach to Myanmar in the wake of new atrocities and potential war crimes. A few years ago, there was international outrage over the Myanmar military’s treatment of the Rohingya, an ethnic minority in the region. Australia has been indirectly involved in these atrocities since the start.

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