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MAGAZINE

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INDIGENOUS RIGHTS

REFUGEE RIGHTS

GENDER EQUITY & DIVERSITY


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CONTENT 03

EDITOR'S LETTER

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DANIEL ARZOLA FRONT COVER ARTIST

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ETHICAL CONSUMERISM ETHICS & THE MEAT INDUSTRY

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ETHICAL TRAVEL PART ONE: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO VOLUNTEERING ABROAD

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ETHICAL TRAVEL PART TWO: ETHICALLY EXPLORING TIMOR-LESTE

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AUSTRALIA’S DELIBERATE EVASION OF REFUGEE OBLIGATIONS A BRIEF INSIGHT

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ANTHONY FORONDA THE REFUGEE

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DAVID ROBERTS LETTER JOURNEY

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WAY ZHU DETENTION IN AUSTRALIA

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KONSTANTINOS TSAKALIDIS FLEEING ROJAVA/LIVING ON THE BORDER

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KEN MAHARAJAH REFUGEE CHILD ARRIVING AT KOS

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NASSIM HOSEINI SHELTER

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MIKKEL HENSSEL SYRIAN REFUGEES – THE HARD WAY TO EUROPE

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MAKSYMILIAN HRYNIEWICKI RIGONCE – REFUGEE CAMP IN SLOVENIA

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FINDING OUR WAY WITH WORDS A NEW CHAPTER FOR AUSTRALIA’S ALMOST LOST ABORIGINAL LANGUAGES

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AROUND THE WORLD HOW DOES AUSTRALIA COMPARE?

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UNCOVERING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN TIMOR-LESTE WHY IS GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE SO COMMON IN TIMOR-LESTE?

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OUR FIGHT WITH FEMINISM WHY MEN AND WOMEN SHOULDN’T BE AFRAID TO CALL THEMSELVES FEMINISTS

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GENDER INEQUITY AROUND THE WORLD THE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY COUNTINUES

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AM-UNITY MAGAZINE TEAM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

EMILY WILLIAMSON

VANESSA DE LA GARZA

ASSISTANT EDITORS

SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR

CARMEN CITA SARAH MOKRZYCKI

AYKUT OZAL ONLINE MARKETING MANAGER JONATHAN STIGLEC

HEAD WRITER LUCY HOWARD-ROBBINS

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WRITERS/EDITORS CARMEN CITA CLAUDIA BAILEY ELNAZ DERAKSHANDEH RACHEL MATULIS SOPHIE BOUSTEAD

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OUTSIDE CONTRIBUTIONS ARTICLES, ARTWORK & PHOTOGRAPHY ANTHONY FARONDA DAVID ROBERTS CLAUDIA BAILEY KEN MAHARAJAH KONSTANTINOS TSAKALIDIS MAKSYMILIAN HRYNIEWICKI MICHELA BUTTIGNOL

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MIKKEL HENSSEL NASSIM HOSEINI WAY ZHU

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EDITOR'S LETTER

EDITORIAL The study of linguistics is fascinating. It looks at the structure and diversity of a language, as well as how it changes and evolves, how people communicate with it, and how it determines relations of power. If you have ever attempted to learn a new language, you will understand that it is more than just words, it is a representation of the essence of that culture. The Spanish, for example, use very emotive words as it is a passionate culture, whereas Australians have a much more relaxed attitude, which is represented in their use of abbreviations and slang. Each language spoken offers a unique way of thinking about the world, which means that when a language is lost, so too is the unique worldview conveyed by that language. As colonisation slowly degraded and attempted to obliterate the Indigenous Australian culture, many traditions and languages suffered, and as a result, hundreds of Indigenous dialects periled. There is, however, a glimmer of hope at claiming back Indigenous languages as the NSW state government announced last year that students are now able to study these languages until year twelve. This involves a collaboration between schools and Aboriginal communities, and a cooperation between teachers and Aboriginal elders. Not only will this assist students with a gaining a better understanding of the culture, but it will support a more inclusive environment for Indigenous students. Although there still is a long way to go before true equality is reached for Indigenous Australians, this move to preserve the languages of the world’s oldest culture is certainly a step in the right direction, and will hopefully one day see a revival of this incredible culture. Make sure you read 'Finding Our Way With Words' on page 41 for an excellent overview of this issue.

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Thank you for your support,

Emily Williamson Editor-in-Chief

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FRONT COVER ARTIST

ARTIST : DANIEL ARZOLA FRONT COVER IMAGE

Daniel Arzola was born in 1989 in Maracay, Venezuela, and is a writer, visual artist, graphic designer and human rights activist who has dabbled in photography, and drama. He has popularised the term Artivism (Art + Human Rights) and is the creator of "No Soy Tu Chiste" (I'm Not A Joke) – the first Venezuelan viral campaign to reach five continents. Daniel participated in the Art For Freedom Project by the American singer Madonna, and was the only artist to have five works selected for the project worldwide – two of them chosen by the singer Katy Perry. On October 8 2013, Madonna said on Twitter she loved the Arzola's work.

Daniel was also included in the list of seven most talented young Venezuelans by Trend Magazine. He currently writes a column on human rights as a contributor to RNW Media. Daniel has been recognised with awards from the Canadian Embassy, Embassy of the United States and the United Nations Population Fund. The plight of human rights in Venezuela forced him to settle in Santiago, Chile. Daniel has also been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.

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In Venezuela if you're LGBT you have to hide it. There are no laws or programs for inclusion of the masses or education on gender-sexual diversity. In practice, if two men take each other by the hand it means putting your physical and psychological integrity at risk. The term "hate crime" doesn't exist, and the government uses homophobic speech. / NoSoyTuChiste

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DANIEL ARZOLA


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DANIEL ARZOLA

FRONT COVER ARTIST

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FRONT COVER ARTIST

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DANIEL ARZOLA


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ETHICAL CONSUMERISM

What You Need to Know to be an Ethical Meat Eater By Sarah Mokrzycki

The topic of animal rights in the context of eating meat is one fraught with controversy and opinion. People sit at various points across the spectrum from unashamed carnivores to organic vegans. I myself sit closer to the vegan end of the spectrum, although as it stands, I currently eat meat. I did go fully vegetarian back when I was eight for a solid six months after my idol Lisa Simpson did, and for many years now I have been an almost vegetarian. However, ever since I discovered the truth behind factory farming as a young adult, my meat buying choices have been restricted to “free range” only. When I go out for lunch or dinner I’m strictly vegetarian – I can’t ever be sure a place uses free range meat so I simply go without. I’ve been eating out like this for years now and it’s become second nature. Unfortunately, being an ethical meat eater can be a complicated business. The meat industry is no stranger to morally corrupt practices – from environmental damage and worker exploitation, to misleading labelling. This article outlines the ethical issues surrounding the meat industry and ways you can become an ethical meat eater. What is Factory Farming, Anyway?

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Factory farming is the standard way in which we in Australia (and many other countries) get our meat, and it is nothing short of insanity. Animals are severely confined and raised in painful, unnatural conditions, and the sheer number of them means massive pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The entire concept is totally unsustainable and damaging to the planet.

“When you add it all up, the picture is clear— contemporary agriculture is burning up our planet. And factory farms or, in industry lingo, Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), play a key role in this impending disaster” – Ronnie Cummins, Eco Watch. The high amount of animal waste, pesticides, fertilizers and antibiotics (given to the animals to counteract the sickness 11


ETHICAL CONSUMERISM

inherent to factory farming conditions) pollute waterways and the surrounding environment. On top of this factory farms are a primary cause of global warming, according to Ronnie Cummins from Eco Watch:

The shocking forms of exploitation are all accompanied by the gross underpayment of wages, with potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen pay going missing every year. A scam is being run by unscrupulous labour hire contractors – dodgy middle men who sell groups of cut-price migrant workers to farms and factories producing fresh food across the country.”

“CAFOs contribute directly to global warming by releasing vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere—more than the entire global transportation industry … According to a 2006 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), animal agriculture is responsible for 18 per cent of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, including 37 per cent of methane emissions and 65 percent of nitrous oxide emissions. The methane released from billions of imprisoned animals on factory farms is 70 times more damaging per ton to the Earth’s atmosphere than CO2.”

On top of appalling work conditions, worker exploitation and slavery, factory farming in developing nations reduces food security for the poor, and local farmers are often run out of business while the rural poor are undercut. All this results in less food for the people who need it most. Similarly, farmers who “play by the rules” in Australia are “being dropping by the supermarkets, who are instead awarding contracts and sourcing food from cheaper suppliers using grossly exploited labour”, according to the Four Corners investigation.

What About the Human Toll?

So What’s the Alternative?

The animal cruelty and environmental impacts alone are enough for factory farming to be considered highly unethical (not to mention brutal and dangerously short-sighted) but there is an ethical concern that largely goes unnoticed in regards to factory farming, and that is the human toll. In the UK, for example, it has been reported that one third of meat production workers are immigrants who work seven days a week for up to eighteen hours at a time. In the US, factory farms have been likened to sweatshops: slaughterhouse workforces are largely made up of illegal immigrants who are bullied and forced into working in unsafe conditions – sometimes under armed guard. In US slaughterhouses, injury rates are over twice as high as the national average, and illness rates are over ten times as high. In 2010 in Brazil, a beef company was found to be keeping almost 200 slave workers – some as young as fourteen years old – and forcing them to work up to twenty-four hours a day.

If you’re an avid meat eater or even if you’re just like me and haven’t managed to make that final push into full-blown vegetarianism yet, supporting local farmers and buying organic (or free range meat) is the way to go. As Shop Ethical! explains: “In order to achieve organic certification, chickens and pigs farmed organically must be free-range”. As such, you can be confident you are buying free-range meat when you buy certified organic products. However, the environmental impacts of keeping animals for food extend beyond factory farming and into all types of meat production. With this in mind, limiting the amount of meat you buy and eat can make a substantial difference. Can You Trust a Label?

In Australia, a recent Four Corners investigation revealed that farms and factories were supplying the country’s biggest supermarkets and fast food chains with food obtained through worker exploitation and slave-like conditions: “Migrant workers from Asia and Europe are being routinely abused, harassed and assaulted at work … Women are also being targeted sexually, with women being propositioned for sex and asked to perform sexual favours in exchange for visas. The exploitation is widespread and in some cases involves organised syndicates.” 12

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In short: no. Trusting a label on face value is something consumers should be able to do with confidence, secure in the knowledge that companies aren’t lying to them or at the very least, aren’t trying to look better (or more ethical) than they are. Labels that display accurate and non-misleading information are needed if consumers are to make informed choices. The task of shopping ethically becomes all the harder when you have to research the truth behind every label or brand you encounter. For example, mayonnaise is the bane of my existence. Large supermarket chains tend to stock only a handful of brands, all owned by multinationals with woefully low ratings in the Ethical Guide. A new mayonnaise brand has recently hit shelves, proudly proclaiming the use of free range eggs (one of the major ethical concerns surrounding mayonnaise production). I was ecstatic.


ETHICAL CONSUMERISM

Ethical shopping can be hard, and there can be an awful lot of fact checking required – largely because labels can be misleading. Then I read the teeny-tiny writing on the back of the bottle and discovered the company that owned the brand was one of the multinationals already dominating supermarket shelves with an F rating in the Ethical Guide. The new name, new look and new label made the product appear to be ethical, but nothing could have been further from the truth (regardless of the use of free range eggs).

Adding to the confusion are generic and ambiguous slogans such as “outdoor bred” or “bred free range”, as there are no formal or legal standards these vague proclamations have to uphold. Such slogans look good slapped on the front of packaging and make people feel confident in the product and the company’s integrity; however what these slogans generally mean is that animals are bred outdoors and then raised indoors with no outside access. Unless a product is certified free range or organic, slogans can shout outdoorsy-sounding things like “outdoor bred” and “bred free range” all they like – it doesn’t actually mean anything. To avoid uncertainty, don’t take labels at face value unless they are from a company you already know and trust, and familiarise yourself with organic certification logos (which can be found here.)

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Ethical shopping can be hard, and there can be an awful lot of fact checking required – largely because labels can be misleading. In the context of meat production and purchasing, the issue of misleading labelling is particularly pertinent. Many consumers now will choose “RSPCA approved” meat and eggs to avoid conflicts of ethics, but even this label is not without controversy. The label has been “challenged” in recent years, and undercover investigations by UK’s Animal Aid has found evidence chicken and pig farms “approved” by the RSPCA do not uphold the ethical standards the famed animal welfare society itself sets out.

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Find Out More To find out more about factory farming and truth in labelling, visit Voiceless: Factory Farming Truth in Labelling To find out more about label types and what they entail, visit Choice To arm yourself with ethical knowledge the next time you shop, visit Shop Ethical! and check out their Ethical Guide. Shop Ethical! has also just released their latest pocket print guide (8th edition) and updated their app to include a company feedback feature and barcode scanner. The app costs just under $5 to buy and makes an excellent shopping companion to help navigate the tricky world of labels. All images courtesy of the Shop Ethical! website, Twitter and Facebook.

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ETHICAL TRAVEL

PART 1

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Ethical Travel

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" You have a lot to offer, just be sure you're paired with the right organisation.

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A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO VOLUNTEERING ABROAD Finding ethical experiences that contribute to lasting and effective change

By Elnaz Derakhshandeh Photos by Claudia Bailey You’re on holiday or on your gap year and you decide to swing by a local orphanage to play Santa for a day and bring the kids toys and affection, and of course, post a photo of it. Yet, you don’t speak the language, you are unfamiliar with the culture, and you lack the skills and knowledge pertaining to teaching youth, caring for orphans, or building homes and a sustainable community. So, what right do you have here? All you wanted to do was help, but what if all you did was support corruption in countries that are already ill-run and promote an industry that exploits and abuses locals with money provided by tourists who think they are doing good?

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While most volunteers head over with the best intentions, they haven’t done much of the necessary research that is vital to responsible volunteering. ‘Voluntourism’ has become a large industry that is powered by those who are willing to give up a few weeks and a few thousand dollars to help the less fortunate, but how can you be sure that you are not being exploited or helping to exploit others? How can you find the right organisation that fits your needs and achieves local sustainability, provides jobs, education, and long-term resources? By conducting a lot of research and asking the right questions. So you want to make a tangible difference overseas? Here is a list of things to consider before committing to a volunteer trip.


ETHICAL TRAVEL

1. Research beyond the first page of Google. Scour the Internet endlessly until you find reviews, and speak to other recent volunteers. Research the country and the city, as well as what problems it has faced in recent years and question how the organisation has helped to improve these issues so far. Projects should arise from local needs, so look to see if they are simply providing aid or providing needed skills and resources to locals. 2. Look for a volunteer position like you would look for a job. Find something within your skill set and try to do it for as long as you can. Dedicating a few weeks is appreciated, but change occurs over time and the more time you have the more you can do.

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Ask plenty of questions, including those related to where your money is going. Project development and housing are not complete answers – ask for specific fund allocations and for a copy of an official document to show these finances.

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Talk to other local community organisations. What do they have to say about the one you want to pick? Are they helping or is there more to know?

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What kind of pre-departure training is available? Does the organisation help you get acquainted with the area, hospitals, and a guide to the language and culture? These are essential but are also up to you to learn.

10. What kind of training is provided to the community? How have the volunteers and the organisation assisted in providing knowledge and skills? Furthermore, will you walk away with an increased set of skills?

3. Keep in mind that going to a country to do something like helping to build a house could potentially take a job from a local worker. This is not to say that you can’t work alongside the locals if they need the manpower, especially if you’re an engineer or a tradesperson, but many of us don’t have much knowledge of building sturdy homes, and an organisation shouldn’t let you do something like this unless you have the proper knowledge and skill set to do so.

11. What kind of support will you have there? Is there twenty-four hour emergency access if you need it? You’re going to be entirely out of your element and away from home. You might get homesick, scared, ill, or something might make you weary or uncomfortable. Who can you turn to in these situations? How has the organisation dealt with it in the past?

4. Look at the type of volunteering available and whether it is suitable to you. Find out the organisation’s goals and what it hopes to achieve, and ask to see its progress within the past year. Are these the types of things you were hoping to contribute to? If not, are you open to changing your goals and will you still be useful?

12. Do you need to provide a recent police check prior to your arrival? Organisations, especially those working with children, should ask for this. 13. Finally, find out about the local culture. This one is entirely up to you. You can’t march in there without a lick of knowledge, so learn some of the common words and sensitive topics of the people there. Find out what level of political stability there is, as well as how you should be dressed. Many cultures find it rude to touch another’s head, or wear shoes in a home or sacred place, and these are things you should be aware of before going.

5. How are you helping the local community? How will your actions help build a future for someone else? The organisation needs to provide a clear answer on what you will be expected to do while you are volunteering and what it wants you to achieve. 6. Be realistic about your time and goals. If disaster strikes and cities or towns need help, then one week of labour can be useful. In normal circumstances, however, there isn’t much you can do in one or two weeks of volunteering. If the organisation tells you otherwise, it is probably not being entirely truthful.

While you’re there, learn as much as you can, soak up the local culture and encourage others to lend a helping hand too. You have a lot to offer, just be sure you’re paired with the right organisation. The experience will change your life, help you see a country, and gain knowledge that formal education can’t give you.

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Volunteering overseas should be approached with caution and skepticism. You want to do the right thing, but you need to make sure the organisation you will volunteer with is doing so too. Sure it sounds like a lot of work, but that’s what volunteering is! You need to research, prepare, and approach it with humility because things won't go as you dreamed, but you’re doing a courageous deed, so don’t let a few hours of vital research stop you.


ETHICAL TRAVEL

PART 2

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Ethical Travel

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" Timor-Leste is an escape, a true haven for those looking for the road less travelled. AM-UNITY MAG EDITION 6

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ETHICAL TRAVEL

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ETHICALLY EXPLORING TIMOR-LESTE

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ETHICAL TRAVEL

By Elnaz Derakhshandeh & Claudia Bailey Photos by Claudia Bailey

At AM-UNITY, we want to give you the right guidance when it comes to volunteering and travel. We also want to give you in-depth knowledge by highlighting a country one of our crew has recently volunteered or traveled to. In this issue, we will be exploring Timor-Leste and how you can contribute to human rights, simply by traveling ethically. Timor-Leste is only 640km north-west of Darwin. It’s one of the youngest countries in the world and only claimed its independence from Indonesia in May, 2002. Much of the country’s history has been marred by violence, but in recent years the nation has enjoyed calm as a result of persistent peacekeeping efforts. This has meant locals have been able to pursue education, healthcare has developed, and the overall market economy has grown.

Looking for souvenirs to take back home? The Alola Foundation is an excellent option and is located near the Balide Church. The foundation helps support women and economic empowerment, and by purchasing, you will too. Casa Vida also sells life skills and training programs from its Café Aroma restaurants. All of these purchases will help build a brighter future for Timor-Leste and its people. Looking to do more than travel? If you’d like to volunteer, here is a list of places worth looking into.

Coffee and oil are some of the country’s largest exports, so much so that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) refers to the country as the ‘most oil dependent economy in the world’. This is just one reason why it is important to travel and volunteer ethically in Timor-Leste. By promoting tourism and tourismrelated industries, the country does not have to rely on just two sources of income that can easily be exploited or run dry.

Ba Futuru – Located in Dili and dedicated to establishing peace and development with a focus on at-risk children and youth that have been exposed to violence or trauma. The Asia Foundation – A non-profit organisation that tries to alleviate all critical issues through local and foreign expertise. Don’t have time to volunteer? Donate a book through their Books for Asia Fund instead and help improve literacy and access to education.

Timor-Leste is an escape, a true haven for those looking for the road less travelled, and if you find yourself there, here is a list of places we recommend checking out.

The Alola Foundation – Founded by Melbourne Native, Kirsty Sword Gusmao, this organisation focuses on women and children’s rights and protection, and has been recognised and supported by UN WOMEN.

In Dili, there are a few enterprises that have been set up by local NGO, Casa Vida. They ensure that staff are paid fair wages and receive high-quality training, which provides them with a valuable skill set and, therefore, helps the community achieve long-term and sustainable change. Two of the establishments are Café Aroma restaurants, which are located behind Timor Place and Doce Visa, across from the Dili Port. If you find yourself in the mood for Mexican, or perhaps some Italian risotto, head over to Beach Road for great food that also helps to provide a great future.

Casa Vida – This local NGO helps home, support, and educate girls who have been victims of abuse, or young pregnant women. Plan International – Assists with child protection, education, water, sanitation, and youth economic empowerment. These are just some of the fantastic organisations that are helping build a safe and prosperous TimorLeste, and also offer a safe and life-changing trip for anyone looking to volunteer. For more information or answers to questions, email travel and volunteer enthusiast, Elnaz.

If you want a local taste, look out for your closest Warung, which sells traditional Indonesian and Timorese food such as Bakso or Mee Goreng.

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" By promoting tourism and tourism-related industries, the country does not have to rely on just two sources of income that can easily be exploited or run dry.


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REFUGEE RIGHTS

Australia’s Deliberate Evasion of Refugee Obligations -a Brief Insight By Rachel Matulis Australia’s appalling track record for the treatment of asylum seekers showed no signs of improvement in 2015. As the year drew to a close, Australia sparked criticism from countries across the globe, including Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Switzerland, during the UN’s periodic review of Australian asylum seeker policies. Despite pleas from the Human Rights Council and its delegates, a glaring testament to the vital need for change, Australia remains headstrong on the issue in 2016, maintaining its fear-based discourse. However, closer inspection of Australia’s policies reveals a continued and deliberate evasion of international obligations. An important example is Article 33(1) of The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the non-refoulement obligation; Australia must not return a person to any place where he or she claims to have a well-founded fear of persecution. This is a fundamental protective provision of the Convention, ensuring people at risk are not arbitrarily returned to countries where harm is faced.

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However, Australia treats this obligation as arising only if refugees enter Australian jurisdiction, thereby justifying pushback and return of refugees at sea as a valid action. Unsurprisingly, this is contrary to the position of the UNHCR that territory is not simply measured by entry to a state’s jurisdiction, but may be enlivened by the effective control by a state over an individual. Whilst the extent of control may vary, push back operations, by their very nature, involve the necessary level of control over a vessel generally considered to enliven jurisdiction. Australian jurisprudence has, however, relied upon the fact that Australia has not yet incorporated the Refugee Convention into the Australian legislative framework, which allows Australia to argue that domestic law overrides obligations arising under the Refugee Convention. This, therefore, permits the interception of vessels attempting to enter Australia without a visa. Australia may also be breaching non-refoulement with respect to those who enter Australian territory, and are sent to third countries for processing of their refugee claims. Australia’s current policy is to return those without refugee claims to their 25


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country of origin, or for those with valid asylum claims, resettle them to a third country for extraterritorial processing of their refugee status. Australia has accepted the application of Art 33(1) within jurisdiction, however, use of third country processing means Australia places reliance on that third country to comply with non-refoulement. In selecting a third country, the Minister has power under Australian legislation to designate countries as appropriate for regional processing. This power is almost unfettered except that the ‘national interest’ is considered, but even this is not legally binding. Therefore, Australia is neither required nor able to guarantee the safety of a refugee in the processing third country, risking breach of Art 33(1). And if the standards of processing in the designated third countries are deficient, and of these standards we know very little, Australia may be returning refugees who actually have genuine refugee claims. Additionally, the very blanket designation of a processing country as ‘safe’ for all refugees runs contrary to the non-refoulement principle, as an individual may face risk of persecution in that very country. In further regard to offshore processing, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights to which Australia is signatory makes provision for recognised refugees to ‘enjoy asylum’ in Article 14(1). Even if Australia does outsource its responsibility to process asylum seekers itself, it still has an obligation to provide means for refugees to enjoy asylum in Australia once asylum has been granted. While only ‘soft law’, asylum seekers, who are sent to offshore processing centers that are not resettled in Australia, are also denied this privilege. Unfortunately, these violations describe only the tip of the iceberg, but it is plain that the refoulement prohibition operates extraterritorially in the very same manner as within sovereign territory. In its refusal to accept this verity, Australia breaches its international obligations, as the relevant Australian domestic laws allow Australia to continue to work against the Refugees Convention. The time has well and truly passed for Australia to meet expectations as a signatory to the Refugees Convention. In 2016, Australia should revise its current approach in order to fully realise its role in the overwhelming need for refugee protection.

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AM-UNITY MAG EDITION 6

For information about Australia's asylum seeker policies and to help support Amnesty International's By Hook or By Crook campaign click here.


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REFUGEE RIGHTS

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REFUGEE RIGHTS

ARTIST: ANTHONY FORONDA In this graphic titled The Refugee, I wanted to express the sadness I feel for the plight of refugees currently fleeing Syria. The Syrian crisis had been stewing in my head for weeks and the images were upsetting me. I was about to go to sleep one night, but when I closed my eyes this image of a boy and a teddy bear popped into my head. I thought of the child, the refugee child, losing his innocence because of the suffering in Syria. He left his innocence behind with that teddy bear. He will never be the same again. As an artist, I strongly believe in this statement by Matisse– it perfectly summarises the artist’s role. In the last year and a half, I developed a new style called Realismé to address, in a serious way, issues that have affected me and my core beliefs. I understand the plight of refugees. I know they do not want to flee their homeland and the lives they have built but, because of dire circumstances, they have no other choice – they must risk their lives to survive. They must leave their homes and come to a strange and inhospitable country. If they do not, they will suffer and risk death. Anthony was born in Washington, DC and has been illustrating and designing for more than twenty years. His father worked in the engraving department of the Washington Post, and his mother worked for AT&T. He recalls running through the rows of presses at the Post as a young child, and relishing the comics and illustrations on the pages of the paper. Growing up in a political city, the influence of politics and social justice on his life was unavoidable. As a teenager, he was involved with music and was exposed to the DC hardcore punk scene of the late eighties. This was mixed in with political protests revolving around apartheid and the El Salvadoran Death Squads. Many of the protests revolved around the bands that he followed. In high school, Anthony became involved with Amnesty International and is still a member today.

“THE FUNCTION OF THE ARTIST IS NOT TO TRANSLATE AN OBSERVATION BUT TO EXPRESS THE SHOCK OF THE OBJECT ON HIS NATURE; THE SHOCK, WITH THE ORIGINAL REACTION.”

Anthony has graced the pages of The Washington Post, Red Herring Financial Magazine, St. Petersburg Times, National Public Radio, and Government Executive Magazine and was a regular contributor to the Miami Herald Tropic Magazine with a weekly illustration for a column called True Lies. Before freelancing full-time, Anthony also worked as a creative director focusing on advertising to ethnic markets in the US.

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Anthony now lives in the rural town of Putnam with his wife Michelle, daughter Beatrice, cat Atticus, and studio mate Sula (his yellow Labrador). In his spare time he studies the Japanese martial art Aikido, practices Zen meditation, is a council member in town organisations, and enjoys travel. Anthony is a political activist and believes that art has an obligation to inform the community and world about the truth. www.anthonyforonda.com © 2015 Anthony Foronda All Rights Reserved

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ARTIST: DAVID ROBERTS

Letter Journey The most powerful human rights campaigns aren’t about facts and figures. They draw you into a story. They make it personal. Most importantly, however, they provoke you to feel something. The goal of this letter campaign is to challenge misconceptions about how and why asylum seekers come to Australia. David Roberts is an advertising copywriter. He is passionate about fighting intolerance with creativity. Images: David Roberts http://www.davidxroberts.com

ARTIST: MICHELA BUTTIGNOL I decided to create this illustration to express my sympathy to all the people who are forced to flee from Africa and undertake the most difficult and painful journey of their lives. Women, children and men fight against the harrowing open sea for the chance of a better life.

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Countless asylum seekers arrive every day on the Italian coast, and as an Italian, I felt it necessary to make a comment on this issue, which sadly ends in tragedy for too many. Born and raised in Northern Italy, Michela Buttignol is a New York-based freelance illustrator whose technological fortitude has enabled her to branch across a variety of mediums. In 2011, she moved to New York to become a freelance illustrator, and has since been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Buzzfeed, Plansponsor and other international publications. Her works have also been selected for 3X3, The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration; American Illustration; and Society of Illustrators New York. Images: Michela Buttignol http://www.michelabuttignol.com 29


REFUGEE RIGHTS

ARTIST: WAY ZHU

These posters are inspired by a demonstration I witnessed in Sydney against the indefinite and offshore detention of refugees who are attempting to seek asylum in Australia. I was impressed by the passion of these people, and I believe more things like this need to be done to educate the Australian public about the reality of Australia’s offshore and indefinite detention policies. I also believe more needs to be done to humanise refugees and asylum seekers, and to encourage Australians to understand why people are fleeing their homeland.

As someone who did not grow up in Australia, I feel as though I can empathise with the refugees, as I too battle the culture of racism and fear of the unknown in this country. Most of the elements in the posters are common in refugee art. The dark hands represent the people in detention who are suffering and the gesture of the hands indicates that those people need help and want to get out of the “prison”. Images: Way Zhu

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REFUGEE RIGHTS

Photography Konstantinos Tsakalidis / SOOC Konstantinos Tsakalidis was born in 1986 in Serres, Greece. He graduated from the Department of Informatics at the Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki. He has attended seminars at the Photographic Centre Stereosis, and his photographs have been exhibited in group exhibitions, Greek and foreign sites, as well as magazines and newspapers including NZZ Folio, Die Zeit, De Tijd, The Guardian, La Croix, Huffington Post, Le Monde, Washington Post, The Times, Bild, Der Spiegel. Since October 2013, Konstantinos has been a contributor to Bloomberg News in Northern Greece. He is currently a co-founder and member of the Greek collective photo agency Straight Out Of Camera (SOOC).

Fleeing Rojava Portfolio Since ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) took Mosul – Iraq’s second largest city – on June 10, 2014 and confiscated heavy weapons, the group quickly turned its attention to the West (Syrian) Kurdistan (Rojava) region of Northern Syria. The area consists of three autonomous cantons Cizire, Kobane and Efrin where the inhabitants, after their independence from Syria on January 2014, have managed to implement a democratic self-government, based on equality and justice for all people, regardless of ethnicity, religion and gender. Kurds, Assyrians, Christian Armenians, and Arabs live together in harmony in the region and there is equal representation in the local councils of municipalities. This means that women do not need to have a covered face and can participate equally in public affairs, as well as political and social life. ISIS has dramatically increased its attacks against the selfgoverning regions of Rojava, especially in the administration center of Kobane (known as Ayn al-Arab in Arabic), which is the last stronghold of the Kurds in northern Syria. Until recently, the canton of Kobane hosted thousands of people who have been displaced by the civil war as it was considered a safer region. By the beginning of their invasion, however, the jihadists of Islamic State succeeded in capturing 350 villages and towns in Western Kurdistan, which created a wave of 300,000 displaced refugees – most of whom fled across the border into Turkey to save themselves. Kurdish YPG (Peoples Protection Units) and women YPJ fighters stayed behind to fight Islamic State forces outside the Kobane, with the help of the FSA (Free Syrian Army) and airstrikes by the United States and the Arab states coalition.

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Most of the refugees have found temporary shelter in houses, warehouses, mosques, and refugee camps in the Turkish border town of Suruç, which is 10km from Kobane. Suruç is a city of 60,000 inhabitants and has seen its population triple since the beginning of the Rojava invasion. They are trying to return to normal, daily life, however, everything indicates that this will take some time. Kobane has become a symbol of resistance against the jihadists of Islamic State who control parts of Iraq and Syria, and who are committing abhorrent crimes against their opponents and local civilians. www.behance.net/kostastsakalidis

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REFUGEE RIGHTS

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Photography Konstantinos Tsakalidis / SOOC Living On The Border Portfolio

The images depicted here are street scenes from Suruç and Mursitpinar, which are villages located in the Sanliurfa Province of Turkey. Suruç is a rural district of the Şanlıurfa Province that currently has 60,000 inhabitants on a plain near the Syrian border, 46km south-west of the city of Urfa. The population of Suruç has tripled since the start of the Rojava invasion by Islamic State forces.

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www.behance.net/kostastsakalidis

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REFUGEE RIGHTS

ARTIST: KEN MAHARAJAH “British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays ‘awkward’ in Kos.”Online Independent Online Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/ world/europe/british-tourists-complain-impoverished-boatmigrants-are-making-holidays-awkward-in-kos-10281398.html It was this response from a tourist complaining that their holiday was ruined due to refugees arriving at this popular holiday resort that made me consider my own values and what I have become. The simple question is “What has happened to our compassion?” Yes, I have sympathy that a holiday saved up for is looked forward too and is a time to re-energise the batteries and come home refreshed. Yes, I see how these migrants may have ruined that for us, but where is the feeling for the plight of a fellow human being? Is this what our materialistic lifestyle has made as… greedy, selfish people devoid of kindness? Or is it just thoughtlessness? These refugees are not irritants such as mosquito bites, bad weather or losing the car keys. They are destitute people, some fleeing terrible atrocities, prepared to risk their children’s lives to make the hellish boat journey, and we act grieved because they disturb our holiday! Look at the picture of this young girl. I painted this illustration to sum up this situation at Kos. This young child is not happy. Look at the terror on her face. What would we say if our children had to face this? No child should have to experience that. This image for me reaches out and touches that part in me that thankfully is still alive. My selfish materialistic life hasn’t removed that last vestige of decency and for this, I am deeply grateful. There is no intention of being self-righteous, just an honest reflection on my values and what I need to do to resurrect and preserve them.

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Ken is a watercolour illustrator and artist specialising in images of people with a passionate dynamic style. He is based in the UK and is practicing in Devon. Although supplying artwork for the design industry, he is regularly commissioned for private portraiture work. Having studied and practiced graphic design, he understands the strict requirements for producing images within this environment. He loves using a loose painterly technique to create a ‘feeling’ that engages the viewer in a more immersive experience. www.kenmaharajah.uk

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REFUGEE RIGHTS

ARTIST: NASSIM HOSEINI War is ugly, and the people of Syria have had to face this ugliness for too long. I have never been to Syria but I have lovely friends from there and I know it is a wonderful country, or at least it used to be. The ugly face of war has not just destroyed buildings, but children, women and men who have had to leave their homes to find somewhere safe to live. I don’t know how to stop the war in Syria and I don’t know how to rebuild the cities, but I wish I could. This image reflects my wish to make a home and shelter all the Syrians who have nowhere else to go. Nassim Hoseini is an illustrator and graphic designer from Iran, but is currently living in Toronto and studying digital media. About five years ago he started creating illustrations as a way to express his feelings. www.behance.net/nassimhoseini

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REFUGEE RIGHTS

ARTIST: MIKKEL HENSSEL These images represent the flow of refugees from Syria that are crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Many are losing their lives, including children, due to unstable and overcrowded boats. In 2015, the European Union decided to scale back its assistance for emergencies at sea, which has severely exacerbated the issue. Mikkel Henssel lives and works in Copenhagen at the Gul Stue studio with twelve other independent illustrators. He works mostly with book covers and editorial illustrations; however, he has also collaborated with Amnesty International Denmark for a number of years. This has resulted in Mikkel producing a large number of incredible images that all deal with human rights. When he is not working, he likes to play guitar in the spare time that he has between his wife, three children and cat. www.behance.net/mikkelhenssel

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www.mikkelhenssel.dk

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REFUGEE RIGHTS

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REFUGEE RIGHTS

Photography Maksymilian Hryniewicki

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www.behance.net/hryniewicki

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REFUGEE RIGHTS

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INDIGENOUS RIGHTS

Finding Our Way With Words A New Chapter For Australia’s Almost Lost Aboriginal Languages

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By Carmen CIta

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INDIGENOUS RIGHTS

Colonisation inflicted sheer devastation on Australia’s original inhabitants: the new nation’s Indigenous people were dispossessed of land; unfamiliar diseases decimated entire populations; children were pried from parents’ arms and whisked off to faraway missions. The world’s oldest continuous culture struggled to continue.

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s colonial values and systems infiltrated the sunburnt land, many rich Aboriginal traditions reluctantly began to fade – language was among them. Now, almost 230 years later, an official effort to retrieve and preserve those linguistic riches is underway. Since 2005, students have been able to study Aboriginal language from kindergarten to year ten. Late last year, NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli announced the introduction of a highly anticipated new HSC subject: Aboriginal Languages. He said, “This new course enables students to continue their studies into years eleven and twelve.” The new program is a content-endorsed course, which means that it appears on the student’s Record of Achievement but results don’t affect the student’s Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). Teaching and learning of Aboriginal languages and cultures is central to the Connected Communities strategy. Participating schools partner with local Aboriginal communities, facilitating the transfer of cultural knowledge and expertise from Aboriginal elders to classroom teachers.

strong sense of identity. For non-Aboriginal young people, it will provide a deeper understanding of the world’s oldest living culture.” The move to recuperate these languages is an important step on the long and rocky path towards reconciliation. As Nelson Mandela once famously said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Leslie Williams said, “This course will aid Aboriginal people to become the future custodians and caretakers of their languages and empower them to maintain a

For Indigenous Australians, the quest for equality in contemporary Australia is far from finished. Some of the damage that has been done to the Aboriginal psyche may never heal. Nonetheless, a genuine attempt to preserve Indigenous languages and excavate untold Indigenous history is overdue and imperative.

Ten Quick Facts About Aboriginal Languages: 1. Estimates vary, but the National Indigenous Languages Survey Report 2005 documents 145 indigenous languages that are still spoken. 2. Many of these unique Aboriginal languages can be broken down into several dialects. For example, in Arnhemland there are several distinct languages, and each clan has its own dialect.

Aboriginal languages are not mutually intelligible. Just as English belongs to a much larger language family, which also includes Spanish, Yiddish and Armenian, the broad banner of ‘Aboriginal languages’ takes in many unique and disparate languages.

5. Recent research indicates that there are thirty-five Indigenous languages in NSW – ten of those languages are now taught in schools.

7. Each Aboriginal language is intimately connected to a specific place. So, when Aboriginal people are forcibly moved, they can no longer speak the language.

6. Though they may share some similarities, most

8. Aboriginal languages have only been written down since settlement.

4. Only 3–5 of the remaining Aboriginal languages

NOTE: Less than one per cent of the world’s languages have spontaneously developed writing systems.

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9. The indigenous languages of the Sydney region were decimated within the first two years of the First Fleet’s arrival, due to the smallpox epidemic that killed most of the region’s original inhabitants. 10. Across northern Australia, many people speak an Aboriginal-English creole, known as Kriol. The historical forcible removal of Aboriginal children from their parents, now known as the Stolen Generation, led to the formation of various Aboriginal-English linguistic hybrids, as children from various language groups learned to communicate with each other in the pidgin English used by the missionaries.

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3. Almost one-half of the remaining Aboriginal languages are spoken by fewer than ten speakers.

are considered ‘strong’ or ‘safe’. The strongest languages are those spoken in the remotest parts of Australia, including North-East Arnhemland and the Central Desert.


INDIGENOUS RIGHTS

Language is the code that we use to communicate with one another; we rely on it to express ideas, to find meaning and to reach understanding. Of the thousands of different languages practiced around the world, there are vast structural variations from one language system to the next. These linguistic disparities reflect the widely varying cultural identities of the language-bearers. If you’ve ever learned a new language, you may have marveled at how much that new language ‘tells you’ about its attendant culture. The linguistic assignment of masculine or feminine gender to an inanimate object, for example, gives us insight into cultural preconceptions about masculinity and femininity. Similarly, the scope of Indigenous Australian languages tells us much about Aboriginal culture and ideology. While the languages are typically limited in their capacity to describe the material aspects of the modern world, they offer a rich and elaborate vernacular for understanding the natural world. Ecological knowledge is often built in to the language. For example, edible grubs are named after the witchetty bushes in which they are typically found. Language and culture are intrinsically linked. Each unique language encapsulates a particular way of thinking about the world. So it follows that, when a language is lost, the unique worldview conveyed by that language is lost along with it. Rich with spiritual insight and respect for the natural world, Aboriginal Australian culture is a national treasure. As a new generation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is introduced to Aboriginal languages, there is renewed hope for the preservation of that treasure. To help support Amnesty International's Community is Everything campaign for Indigenous rights click here. Sources: http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/secondary/ languages/languages/aboriginal/assets/docs/Aboriginal%20Perspectives_100210. pdf http://arts.gov.au/sites/default/files/pdfs/nils-report-2005.pdf

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http://www.dec.nsw.gov.au/about-the-department/our-reforms/connectedcommunities/about-the-strategy

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INDIGENOUS RIGHTS

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GENDER EQUITY & DIVERSITY

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AROUND THE WORLD How does Australia compare?

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By Sophie Boustead

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AFGHANISTAN GENDER EQUITY MATERNAL & DIVERSITY RIGHTS

In Australia, we increasingly hear horrific stories of family violence. The stats – almost one in three women in Australia experience physical violence, with one woman being killed every week by a current or former partner. The situation has been labelled an epidemic.

inequality is still present in schools, in workplaces, in bars and even walking down the street where some men thinks it’s ok to catcall or harass women based on their looks or what they’re wearing. This is where domestic violence is born. As a high-income country, we should be at the forefront of change. Media coverage of domestic violence has been crucial to securing more funding for domestic violence support services and campaigns. This issue must be kept on the agenda, and perhaps most importantly, we must educate young people, both girls and boys, about gender inequality and domestic violence, and what to do should it arise. It’s no longer adequate to respond to domestic violence when it occurs, it must be addressed before it begins.

In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report stating that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced sexual violence, most commonly perpetrated by a partner. The report showed that high-income countries including Australia, New Zealand, the US and members of the EU presented the lowest levels of partner-perpetrated violence compared to the rest of the world. At 37.7 per cent, South-East Asia showed the highest prevalence of partner violence, followed by the Eastern Mediterranean at 37 per cent.

Amnesty’s role: Domestic violence and gender equality is a key area of focus for Amnesty International. The Women in Afghanistan campaign acknowledges the rights that women have won since the fall of the Taliban. Amnesty stands alongside Afghani women to make sure these rights are maintained.

In addition to the immediate risk posed by this violence, women who experience violence are at greater risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, are more than twice as likely to have an abortion and nearly twice as likely to experience depression. While Australia rates better than many other countries, our domestic violence statistics are still shameful. The prevalence of violence shows that, despite being a developed country with adequate support services, we continue to foster a culture of gender inequality. Gender

See our list of support services around Australia for women experiencing domestic violence. Image Credits: Amnestypic1: gianluca, “senza titolo”. Attribution sharealike 2.0 generic. No changes made.

Amnestypic2: anna gutermuth. Attribution 2.0 generic.

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AM-UNITY MAG EDITION 6

Amnesty continues to advocate for reproductive rights for all women, including decriminalising abortion in countries such as Ireland, Chile and El Salvador.


GENDER EQUITY & DIVERSITY

Uncovering Gender-Based Violence in Timor-Leste Why is Gender-Based Violence So Common in Timor-Leste?

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By Claudia Bailey

Working in Timor-Leste was not all smiles and sunsets like the moments captured in photographs. The truth around working for an organisation that aimed to enrich and acknowledge the rights of women and girls was overwhelming and emotionally draining. Every time I saw a statistic, it didn’t just represent a number, it represented the exact women whom I had met living in shelters, searching for a life free of violence. It left me constantly searching for an answer to the question: “Why is gender-based violence in Timor-Leste so common?” In Timor-Leste, traditions are very important to the people. One Our first right, according to the Universal Declaration of Human significant tradition is that when a couple marries, the husband Rights, is the right to equality. It states that all are equal, without must pay the bride’s family a dowry. A dowry is a ‘bride price’, discrimination. Yet, I soon learned that in Timor-Leste, there is an which is the amount of property, money or other gift paid by the obvious divide between the two genders. groom and his family to the parents of the bride’s Research conducted in 2009-10 by the Three in four women have family. It is a common belief that when a man pays Timor-Leste Demographic and Health the bride price, he gains full control over his wife, Survey, indicates that approximately 30 personally experienced often dictating what she is allowed to do. per cent of Timorese girls aged 15-19 had domestic violence. “In Timor-Leste, it’s very common for men to experienced violence, within a twelve pay a bride price, and sometimes they think that month period. In some communities within paying the price means they own their wives like they own Timor-Leste, it has also been recorded that three in four women animals,” said Flora Soriano Menezes, from the Judicial System have personally experienced domestic violence. For those Monitoring Programme within Timor-Leste. Once their husband women who were already married, the most commonly recorded has paid the dowry, it is extremely difficult for women to leave explanation for violence was that the respondent had been seen violent homes as they fear for their own safety and protection. talking to other men, and violence was her punishment.

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New Girls, Old Stories A poem by Claudia Bailey Tuesday was Tough

Traumatic eyes

as I saw

What had they been through, To take out the light?

Thinking about it now makes me, Numb.

Like stepping into a frozen bath,

A chilled container that their childhood was created in. Blacked out eyes, Broken bones.

These are not the structures of a home. What do they think of me? As I enter the room

How do they imagine my life? Glamorous? Luxurious? Easy?

My eyes assure them it’s not But I know, that it is. What do they see?

When they look at me? White skin Blue eyes

Nice clothes Clean.

Do they see my past? The punches? The screams? The fear?

Or has my mask covered it all?

Although I met a lot of young women who had directly experienced violent situations, these are women who are survivors of domestic violence. I felt proud to be working alongside a number of organisations that were raising awareness of women’s rights through feminism workshops, and by helping to design community awareness programs on violence prevention in rural districts. Whilst participating in a feminism workshop, a group of Timorese activists were asked to write down what characteristics they associated with each gender. Women were described as house-workers and carers, bearers of children, quiet and kind, whilst men were described as strong, independent, loud, hard-working and unaffectionate. What they learned in this workshop was that these characteristics of a person are not attached to a specific gender. They learned that it is possible for women to be successful, outspoken and independent, just as men can be quiet and show affection towards others. I continued to ask my question: “Why is gender-based violence in Timor-Leste so common?” In the end, there was no simple answer for this complex question. They are a young nation, keen and eager to learn about their rights as women, children and men, in ensuring safer communities and households for the future. To build a future without violence, it is important that Timorese citizens understand what violence is, what the consequences of violence are, and to learn alternative, nonviolent ways of solving problems. You can’t physically change the fact that right now, these situations are occurring, but you can make a pact to yourself to do whatever you can, in your own way to change these statistics for the future of the women and girls in this world. There are plenty of different organisations in Timor-Leste that are campaigning and working hard to raise awareness about gender equality and violence prevention. You can support them by donating or volunteering your time to the Alola Foundation, Casa Vida International or UN Women, which are all doing incredible work. Images: Portrait of an East Timorese Girl; Liquica, East Timor – June 19, 2012: Portrait of an unidentified East Timorese girl. East Timorese Children Wearing Traditional Clothes; Liquica, East Timor - June 29 2012: East Timorese children wearing traditional clothes while heading to perform at an electoral campaign event during 2012 elections. Copyright: sigalavaca http://www.bigstockphoto.com/search/?contributor=sigalavaca.

Do they see independence? Happiness? Freedom?

Self-contentment? Good.

One day they’ll enter the same room AM-UNITY MAG EDITION 6

Staring back at

Someone who shares the same scars. New girls,

Old stories, Yet,

They’ll see what I see, Hope.

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GENDER EQUITY & DIVERSITY

OUR FIGHT WITH FEMINISM

Why Men and Women Shouldn’t be Afraid to call Themselves Feminists By Elnaz Derakhshandeh

I am a feminist because I believe in equal rights. I believe that men should be able to seek out help freely and openly express when they feel confused, lost or scared. Men face several of the same daily emotional and mental struggles as women, coupled with societal pressures to act “like a man” and confine themselves to a gender norm; but being a man is being a human with emotions, hormones, external and internal factors that can affect him daily where “toughening up” is not a solution. Expressing your feelings and understanding them is a solution; feeling safe and free to expose your vulnerability is a solution. Being forced to fit into a gender role is not the solution. These roles confine us, damage us and shrink our capabilities.

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While men struggle with these roles and pressures, the odds are stacked far more heavily against women. We are told not to walk alone at night, not to travel to unknown areas, to check our drinks constantly and refrain from wearing provocative clothing, all to stay alive. If we are encouraged to go to school it’s only met with questions on when we will marry soon after. We are told to watch our backs our entire lives because we are in danger; in developing

j

Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18 (www.icrw.org)

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603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime (www.dosomething.org)

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62 million girls are denied an education all over the world (www.un.org)

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Women account for 70 per cent of the population living in absolute poverty on less than US$1.00 a day (www.dosomething.org)

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Women around the world aged 15–44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria (www.makers.com)

and first world countries, from female genital mutilation to college frat parties – no country in the world has made it safe for a woman and no country in the world has achieved gender equality. Most importantly, no country in the world teaches men not to rape, but instead, teaches women to stay indoors at night and mind their clothing. This is why I’m a feminist and this is why you should consider being one too.

One in three women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. Amnesty International is pushing for laws that recognise this statistic (www.makers.com)

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In a study of 173 countries, 155 have at least one legal difference restricting women’s economic opportunities. In eighteen of those 100 countries monitored, women need permission from their husbands to accept work (www.worldbank.org)

Women are denied reproductive rights over their own bodies. According to the World Health Organization, in 2008, 21.6 million unsafe abortions took place globally, leading to the deaths of 47,000 women and disabilities for an additional 5 million (www.amnesty.org.au)

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Around the world, only 22 per cent of all national parliamentarians are female. That’s only double the number in 1995 (www.makers.com)

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According to the CDC, one in seven women “have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they, or someone close to them, would be harmed or killed” (www.cdc.gov/ violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_ report2010-a.pdf)

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By 2018, there will be 1.4 million open technology jobs in the U.S. and, at the current rate of students graduating with degrees in computer science, only 29 per cent of applicants will be women (www.makers.com) 95 per cent of countries have a male head of state (www.millennium-project.org)


GENDER EQUITY & DIVERSITY

...our goal is to liberate ourselves from these gender norms...

These are facts, injustices and inequalities worldwide that violate several laws and the Charter of Human Rights and yet whenever I call myself a feminist, I will encounter someone who will tell me to stop complaining. They’ll tell me that it’s not real, that women are treated equally or that men get it just as bad. Yet, here are the facts and it is very real.

No one should feel afraid to stand up for his or her rights. We need to educate ourselves and be vocal. They’re your rights and the rights of all genders seeking equality and we need to firmly reclaim them until they are common knowledge and bound by law across the globe. Using the term “feminism” may confine us to a stereotype momentarily, but our goal is to liberate ourselves from these gender norms, break free from archaic rules made in a previous patriarchal world and create a place of equality for all genders. This world doesn’t exist yet and a gentle suggestion, or being afraid to call yourself a feminist, won’t get us there. For now, loud, protesting, fighting-until-our-last-breath feminism is how we will make triumphant changes. 50

AM-UNIT AM-UNITY MAG EDITION 6

We are abusing and oppressing women, and this goes way beyond a wage gap. It’s our reproductive rights, our political rights, our educational rights; it’s our freedom of religion, our freedom to marry, our freedom of choice. We are constantly violating the human rights of woman and yet women are afraid to call themselves feminists.


GENDER EQUITY & DIVERSITY

GENDER INEQUITY AROUND THE WORLD

The fight for Euality Continues

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By Emily Williamson

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AROUND THE WORLD

GENDER EQUITY & DIVERSITY

The fight for gender equity has spanned generations. From the right to an education for women, to the right for women to vote and to choose what happens to their bodies, the road has been long, arduous and deadly. We have come a long way, and yet there is still so much to achieve for women’s rights around the globe. The fight is only just beginning for many young women growing up in a world where they are forced to marry their rapist, where they are not allowed to drive, and where they are not considered equal in the eyes of the law. Here are just some examples of the absurd restrictions women around the globe have to live with.

SAUDI ARABIA In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed a driver’s license and are, therefore, not allowed to drive. Despite more women challenging this long-standing limitation of their rights, it seems the government is not willing to budge. Punishment for this crime is very rarely enforced by police – they usually give the woman a warning and force them to sign a pledge saying they will not drive again. In 2011, however, a woman was sentenced to ten lashes with a whip for defying the prohibition. There are many other restrictions that women in Saudi Arabia have to live with each day. This includes not being able to open a bank account without their husband’s permission, go anywhere without a chaperone, wear clothes or make-up that ‘show off their beauty’, interact with men who are not their husband or relative, go for a swim, try on clothes when shopping, enter a cemetery, read an uncensored fashion magazine, or even buy a Barbie doll.

YEMEN In Yemen a woman is only considered half a witness when giving legal testimony. This is because according to authorities in Yemen, a woman is not “recognised as a full person before the court” (Freedom House, 2005). This means that a woman’s testimony will not be seen as legitimate or taken seriously unless a man supports it, or if the offence occurred in a place where a man could not be present. A woman can also not testify at all in cases regarding adultery, libel, theft or sodomy. Women in Yemen are additionally not allowed to leave the house without their husbands’ permission. The only exception to this rule is in emergency situations where a woman must leave for her safety, or to care for a family member in circumstances such as a family member becoming injured and needing immediate assistance.

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NIGERIA In Nigeria, violence by a husband is considered acceptable for the purpose of ‘correcting his wife’. As a result of this acceptance, there are multiple cases of Nigerian men killing and beating their wives. Gender inequity is prevalent throughout the world, with women fighting against it every day. There are, however, glimmers of hope as the worst offenders, such as Saudi Arabia, are making progress in recognising the rights of women. In 2015, women took the historic step of voting and being elected into municipal councils for the first time. This incredible feat was achieved with the help of King Abdullah, who lifted the ban before his death, and it demonstrates the need for men to join the fight for gender equity. We must continue to push the norm where women are not considered equal to men and create a new paradigm, because if we don’t, too many women will be wrongfully imprisoned, sexually assaulted or die as a result.

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IMAGE CREDITS: ©Find Your Feet, CC BY 2.0, www.flickr.com/photos/findyourfeet/3693611933 ©DEMOSH, CC BY 2.0, www.flickr.com/photos/44222307@N00/2143585184 ©Kheel Center, CC BY 2.0, www.flickr.com/photos/kheelcenter/5279790338

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GENDER EQUITY & DIVERSITY

The criminalistion of abortions and miscarriages is also prevalent in El Salvador, which has one of the toughest anti-abortion laws in the world. Women who miscarriage or give birth to a stillborn are suspected of inducing the abortion themselves and can be jailed for murder if found guilty. In 2012, a woman who miscarried was charged with aggravated murder for intentionally murdering her 38–42 week baby. She was later sentenced to ten years in jail. In 2011, another woman was sentenced to forty years after having a miscarriage.

MOROCCO In Morocco a woman who is sexually assaulted can be charged and punished for leaving the house without a male, for being alone with a man who is not her relative, or for getting pregnant as a result. This has had a devastating impact on the lives of many women; including a 16-year-old girl who killed herself in 2012 after a judge forced her to marry her alleged rapist. The judge made this ruling because marriage invalidates statutory rape in Morocco.

GENDER INEQUITY AROUND THE WORLD

EL SALVADOR

AM-UNITY MAG EDITION 6

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