The Conversation - Reaping what we sow: cultural ignorance undermines Australia’s recruitment of Pacific Island workers
The cracks in Australia’s labour market have deepened since borders closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. In response, the Federal Government has offered more work visas under the Pacific Australian Labour Mobility Scheme (PALM), allowing farmers to recruit more workers from Pacific Island nations, including Timor Leste. By the end of 2023, it is expected that 40,000 temporary migrants will be working on Australian farms.
The PALM scheme is seen by many Islanders as an opportunity to earn good money, build new skills, send money home to family and shape a better future. However, Australia’s workforce woes are causing a mass exodus of Pacific Islanders from their home nations which is putting pressure on Pacific Island development prospects.Read more
The Management & Training Corporation (MTC) is the US based private prison operator currently running Nauru Regional Processing Centre. The $69 million contract held by MTC equates to approximately $750,000 per day to oversee the detention of just 111 refugees and asylum seekers.
The auditor-general is considering an investigation into a $69 million four-month contract granted to MTC Australia, to run "garrison and welfare services" for asylum seekers in Nauru. Its parent company has been accused of gross negligence, fraud, and has settled multiple cases where it was accused of being responsible for deaths.Read more
Australia risks being placed on a human rights blacklist by failing to meet another deadline to implement an international anti-torture agreement.
The UN’s Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (Opcat) was ratified under the Turnbull government in December 2017, but Australia has since requested two deadline extensions to meet its obligations.Read more
This statement has been reproduced from the Human Rights Law Centre website at: https://www.hrlc.org.au/news/2023/1/16/day-family-statement
The Victorian Government has made a formal decision not to give Victorian police any new powers to arrest or lock people up in police cells once public drunkenness is decriminalised in November 2023.
The decriminalisation of public drunkenness was first recommended by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody over 30 years ago. Following extensive advocacy by the family of Tanya Day, the Andrews Government committed to decriminalising public drunkenness in August 2019 at the outset of the coronial inquest into their mum’s death.Read more
International sporting tournaments have always been a means of bringing the world together. The 2022 FIFA men's World Cup prompted the world to closely scrutinise the significant human rights breaches in Qatar, including its treatment of migrant workers, women and those of the LGBTQI+ community.
Eyes now turn to Australia and its co-host New Zealand, who are to host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup. Australia will understandably face scrutiny in relation to its own human rights violations as the juggernaut of this football festival approaches.Read more
Dr Hannah McGlade, Member, UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues and, Associate Professor at Curtin Law School, in her recent essay explains that recognition of Indigenous peoples by way of the Voice referendum cannot be a ‘cession’ of Indigenous sovereignty. Dr McGlade, with over two decades experience in United Nations Law says "nowhere does the Voice to Parliament proposal suggest any agreement of Aboriginal people to cede sovereignty. To the contrary, the proposal recognizes the right of Indigenous people to be heard on laws affecting our people".
Read more here.
Submission: Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Information Disclosure, National Interest and Other Measures) Bill 2022
NSWCCL has consistently voiced concerns about the potential for misuse of location data, collected by everyone from telecommunications companies to Google. In our recent submission to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee we note that due care should be taken in widening law enforcement's access to personal data.
The stated aim of the proposed ammendments to the Bill are to provide police with greater access to location data from phone companies to find missing people at risk of harm. NSWCCL agrees that the timely provision of information to law enforcement is critical to ensuring the safety of vulnerable and at-risk individuals. However, we argue that the current legislation allows disclosure of such information, under section 287 of the act, if emergency services believe “on reasonable grounds that the disclosure or use is reasonably necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of a person”. We do not agree that the appropriate balance between information privacy and the free flow of information has been achieved in the Bill.Read more
The Identity-matching Services Bill 2019 (IMS Bill) authorises the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) to create and maintain facilities for the sharing of facial images and other identity information between government agencies, and in some cases, private organisations.
The unusual recommendation to entirely redraft the Identity-matching Services Bill 2019 and significantly amend a supporting bill for automating passport data sharing came after expert evidence that the planned expansion lacked necessary safeguards.Read more
NIT: Report from major international rights group condemns high rate of Indigenous incarceration and deaths in custody in Australia
A major international human rights group has slammed Australian governments, state and federal, for their failure to uphold the rights of First Nations people in its 2023 World Report.
Human Rights Watch highlighted Indigenous youth incarceration among a number of areas of grave concerns in Australia in the report released this week.
More than 200 organisations, including, CIVICUS, UnionsNSW, Australian Conservation Foundation and Oxfam, as well as prominent individuals representing millions of people across the country have united to condemn the recent 15-month jail sentence for climate activist Deanna ‘Violet’ Coco in NSW and to express concern about increasing repression, including the recent introduction of new anti protest laws in multiple states.Read more