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MAGAZINE

DEATH PENALTY • PRESS FREEDOM • REFUGEES’ HUMAN RIGHTS 1


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CONTENT 04

EDITORS LETTER

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CENTRE FOR MULTICULTURAL YOUTH

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ETHICAL CONSUMERISM

THE REALITIES OF ‘LAND GRABBING’

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#OPEN TO SYRIA

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RITUAL SLAUGHTER: ALBINISM IN TANZANIA

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THE DEATH PENALTY: INHUMAN, INEFFECTIVE

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ANTI DEATH PENALTY

VIGIL EVENT

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STOP THE EXECUTION OF SHAFQAT HUSSAIN

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PRESS FREEDOM

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REFUGEE WELCOME ZONE

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THE LOST CHILDREN

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WE WANT FREEDOM

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THE REFUGEE PROJECT

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MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

A PROGRESS REPORT

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VOLUNTEER PROFILE

MATTHEW COX

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BOOK/FILM REVIEWS

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AUSTRALIA VS. FINLAND

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& IRREVERSIBLE

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AM-UNITY MAGAZINE TEAM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF EMILY WILLIAMSON

VANESSA DE LA GARZA

ASSISTANT EDITOR

SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR

SARAH MOKRZYCKI

AYKUT OZAL

HEAD WRITER

MARKETING MANAGER

LUCY HOWARD-ROBBINS

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CREATIVE DIRECTOR

WRITERS/EDITORS GRACE BUTCHER PING-YI LEE (ALICE) KATIE O'CONNELL SARAH MOKRZYCKI

JONATHAN STIGLEC MARKETING COORDINATOR CAMILA BAR PHOTOGRAPHERS JAMES ROBINSON JANE MCDOUGALL KATE SHEFFIELD REBECCA CAPP

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OUTSIDE CONTRIBUTIONS ARTICLES, ARTWORK & PHOTOGRAPHY MARK MUNRO ALWY FADHEL

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EDITORIAL Activists have been very busy over the last few months campaigning for human rights around the world. Their efforts have been invaluable to the cause of justice and equality, as well as giving a voice to the many who have been silenced. This has included a campaign for the release of Al Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy who were imprisoned for broadcasting “false news� and involvement with the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement. With a spotlight on the Egyptian government and pressure from the international community, activism played an important role in the release and deportation of Peter Greste back to Australia, and the release of Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy on bail. As a student of journalism, freedom of the press is an issue I strongly advocate for. Many people do not realize the strength it takes and the dangers journalists risk to uphold democracy, expose human rights abuses and bring us the news of the world. In 2013 alone, 71 journalists were killed, 178 were imprisoned, and 37 were kidnapped or have disappeared. Press freedom is just one of our themes in this edition. We also have a focus on abolishing the death penalty and refugee rights. You will find many ways to take action within our articles and I encourage you to do so. Thank you to all the activists out there and I hope you enjoy reading through edition four. Emily Williamson

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Editor-in-Chief

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FRONT COVER ARTIST STATEMENT

ALWY FADHEL ‘This painting describes what it’s like to become an object. It’s about detention, institutionalisation, humans becoming commodified objects, power, dirty business, political interest, profit, capitalism, the jailer’s mentality and character assassination.’

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CENTRE FOR MULTICULTURAL YOUTH Helping Young People with Migrant and Refugee Background By Alice Lee The Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) is the first organisation in Victoria working with migrant refugee youths. Their aim is to support these young people build better lives in Australia. CMY achieves their mission through a variety of services and programs, such as training and consultancy, knowledge sharing, and advocacy, which not only helps these young people to develop their skills but also build up a network of social contacts to support them in a new and unfamiliar environment. The young people that CMY works with are young people who are 12 to 25 years old, with a particular focus on those who are newly arrived to Australia.. By working with researchers, decision makers, and local services, CMY has also conducted a range of research and policy work, identified trends between migrant population and issues which informs their policy and advocacy work. Through more than 25 years hard work, CMY has extended its offices to various regional areas in Victoria, such as Ballarat and Morwell. In 1988, the Victorian Government established an Ethnic Youth Issues Network (EYIN) and CMY CEO Carmel Guerra, was employed as the first EYIN Project Officer. In 2000, under the auspice of the Australian Multicultural Foundation, the EYIN re-launched itself as the Centre for Multicultural Youth Issues (CMYI). The new name reflected the growth of the organisation from a network to becoming a central point of referral, information and research. After 20 years of development and growth, CMYI made the decision to become and independent organisation and officially became the Centre for Multicultural Youth on 1 July 2008. CMY founder and CEO Carmel Guerra, identified the issue that there was a lack of services in Australia to assist young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

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CMY was therefore established to understand the specific needs for these young people, and the dynamics and shifts in relationship between young people and their families. Alice Gomez joined CMY in 2008 and is their Youth Leadership Advisor. Coming from a multicultural and multi-faith background, Alice was immediately attracted to CMY’s Multi-faith and Multicultural Youth Mentoring program (MMYM), which brought together groups of young people and mentors from a variety of communities and faiths to run youth projects supported by cooperative sectors. Afterwards, Alice was promoted to co-facilitate a workshop in the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 2009, and then she landed the role of a project officer for a youth mentoring program in CMY. In her current role as CMY’s Youth Leadership Advisor, Alice oversees programs that support young people to take on leadership roles and opportunities, assists them in getting their voices heard and encourages them to implement change within their communities.

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Young people have always been the biggest inspiration to Alice. She says many young people show incredible strength when facing life experiences and challenges that most people struggle to imagine. “They are so keen to give back to the community, so keen to be successful and be thankful for the opportunity to explore life in a way that they didn’t necessarily know in their country of origin,” she said. “To realise that and help them to recognize their strength, that’s really what inspires me; as it keeps me in check, and grounded and makes myself have a good sense of what really matters,” she said. CMY provides a variety of programs for both young migrants and people who would like to get involved in helping newly arrived young people. To find out more please visit CMY http://bit. ly/1FeQrUO , or subscribe to their newsletter via their website. Images Caption (CMY_Youth Advisory Group): The young people on CMY’s Youth Advisory Group (YAG), the program ensures CMY’s work continually reflects and addresses young people’s issues. Images Source (CMY_Youth Advisory Group): Photo reproduced with kind permission from the Centre for Multicultural Youth 2015.

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ETHICAL CONSUMERISM The Realities of ‘Land Grabbing’ By Sarah Mokrzycki It’s a classic David and Goliath story or like something out of a film: corporate ‘fat cats’ taking advantage of the poor and needy. Except this isn’t a story. And it isn’t a film. ‘Land grabbing’, the new craze wherein rich corporations buy up foreign farmland for cheap agriculture, bio-fuel or timber, is very real. According to the ABC article ‘World’s wealthy buy up overseas farms’ most land ‘grabbed’ is from poverty stricken regions in countries like Sudan and Indonesia, and all land has a fresh water supply – fresh water that could be used by local villagers but instead amounts to 454 billion cubic metres of fresh water per year being used by corporations instead.

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“For countries reliant on farming and already suffering from poverty, the potential impacts are huge ... In many of these countries, the sum of the water being grabbed would be enough to eliminate malnourishment” – Pablo D’Odorico, University of Virginia (‘World’s wealthy buy up overseas farms’). The article explains that land grabbing was born of the modern ‘food price crisis’ and sky rocketed in the mid to late noughties, converting land of environmental or sustainable importance to locals into land for commercial production for large companies. When supplies dwindle in rich nations due to drought, for example, large amounts of land are bought cheaply in developing countries in order to secure first-world supply. In short: land is taken from the poor to feed the rich.

The worst land grabbing culprits are the United States, United Arab Emirates, India, United Kingdom, Egypt, China and Israel; although Australia has its hand in land grabbing too. The issue is a complicated and ongoing one, but one all Australians should be made aware of. Land grabbing doesn’t just mean taking farmland and water away from people in need, it means cheap, unethical labour, a large carbon footprint and ongoing environmental repercussions. It means products on our supermarket shelves that contribute directly to the continued poverty of developing nations. So what can I do to help?

Make a stand against land grabbing by buying local whenever you can. Where possible only buy ‘Australian Made’ products or, even better, buy from farmers’ markets and local green grocers. The AMUNITY team have a few favourite local haunts for fresh produce: Sarah

“I live in Williamstown and there’s a great farmers’ market on every fortnight. I love to go because the fruit is amazing and always so fresh. People walk their dogs around and try out local produce while the kids feed farm animals at the petting zoo. It’s a great atmosphere and you can always grab a bargain.” Williamstown Farmers’ Market James

“I like shopping at the Ashwood Farmers’ Market because you know exactly where the food is coming from, and it’s easy to speak to the farmers directly about how they harvest and things; they give me 8

Image Above: Polyp http://www.actionaidusa.org/

some great tips about how to properly clean their product before eating it - you can’t really do that at your regular fruit and veg shop. There’s a great sense of community about the market too.” Ashwood Farmers’ Market Bec

Ceres Fair Food Lucy

“Living in Melbourne’s inner north there’s no shortage of great markets to choose from. I shop regularly at Psarakos, my local Greek market, with visits to a nearby Asian supermarket and Indian spice store. The produce is always fresh and local - if not the prettiest - and the cheese, other dairy products, frozen berries etc are all local, usually organic and significantly cheaper than their equivalents in the mainstream supermarkets.” Psarakos Thornbury Always check the Ethical Food Guide before heading out to the shops, or download their app so you can take it with you! This will enable you to know where products come from and how ethically they’re produced. How can I find out more?

Read Brian Bienkowski’s article ‘World’s wealthy buy up overseas farms’ for the ABC. Read The US National Library of Medicine’s article ‘Global land and water grabbing’. Read Lester R. Brown’s article ‘Food, fuel, and the global land grab’ for The Futurist.


RECIPE

Stir fried chicken with mixed vegetables Recipe Serves 2 – 3

Ingredients

Method

1 red capsicum

• Place ¼ cube of chicken stock into a measuring jug and cover with 150 ml boiling water. Stir until stock has dissolved entirely. Set aside.

2 – 3 carrots 2 bunches bok choy or choy sum 2 garlic cloves 2 Tbsp Spiral Foods soy sauce* 1 free range chicken breast (vegetarians can substitute with Nutrisoy tofu*) ¼ cube Massel chicken stock* 150 ml boiling water Splash olive oil

• Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. • Cube chicken and add to the wok. • While chicken cooks, cut up carrots as desired (I use julienne carrots as I find they stir fry better). Add carrots to the wok. • Dice up capsicum and add to the wok; use a garlic press and add garlic. Stir together until chicken is cooked through and the garlic is lightly browned. • Add 2 Tbsp soy sauce and stir. • Slice up bok choy or choy sum as desired. Pour in chicken stock liquid and add your Asian greens to the wok. • Stir fry until greens are cooked. • And voila! A quick, easy, healthy recipe made entirely from local ingredients.

* Spiral Foods is Australian owned and the only brand of soy sauce without a black cross rating in the ethical food guide (although it still rates a gray cross due to issues with Bonsoy, their soy milk product, from 2004 – 2009). Read more about the company and other soy sauce brands here. * Nutrisoy Tofu is Australian owned and organic. You can read more about them here. * Massel is Australian made and owned, and uses all vegetarian ingredients. You can read more about them here.

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Please note: All the vegetables above are seasonal throughout autumn and can be purchased from your local farmers’ market or green grocer. Purchase your chicken from a local butcher (rather than a chain supermarket) but do still check where their meat is sourced from. Read the label on the olive oil to check where the product was made and bottled. Check out the olive oil page for more information on brand options.


OPEN YOUR EYES OpenToSyria

OPEN YOUR HEART OPEN YOUR EYES OpenToSyria OpenToSyria

OPEN YOUR YOUR HEART ARMS

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OpenToSyria OpenToSyria

OPEN YOUR ARMS OpenToSyria OpenToSyria 10


#OPENTOSYRIA

OpenToSyria OPEN YOUR EYES OpenToSyria

OPEN YOUR ARMS OpenToSyria OPEN YOUR HEART OpenToSyria

OpenToSyria OPEN YOUR ARMS OpenToSyria Syrian refugees in a refugee camp in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon holding posters saying “Open Your Eyes” “Open Your Arms” “Open your hearts”. Photographs supporting the Syria refugee campaign. Copyright: © ALI ALSHEIKH KHEDR / Amnesty International

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OpenToSyria


By Lucy Howard-Robbins In Africa, skin colour can be the difference between life and death. People with albinism – an inherited genetic condition that affects pigmentation of the skin, hair and eyes – live with the constant fear of exclusion, abduction, mutilation and murder. Albinism exists worldwide but varies in prevalence across ethnic groups, and Africa has a higher rate of albinism than any other continent. All cultures have developed myths surrounding people with albinism, just as they do with many conditions which identify people as different. In most parts of the world these myths are harmless, but in some parts of Africa, they cause people with albinism to live in fear. Witchcraft and traditional beliefs are practiced alongside Christianity and Islam in many areas of Africa, particularly in remote and rural areas, and it is these beliefs which result in severe human rights abuses against people with albinism (PWA). Beliefs vary significantly across. In some traditions, PWA are seen as ghosts and it is thought that they do not die when killed but simply disappear, thus making their murder not a crime. Another belief is that they are carriers of good luck, wealth and prosperity, which results in a trade of body parts, organs and live victims. The contrasting belief that they are harbingers

of bad luck, illness and death results in exclusion, infanticide and murder grounded in fear. The most vulnerable groups of PWA are infants and children. Infants born with albinism risk abandonment and infanticide. Albinism usually causes visual impairment of varying degrees, so infants are at risk not just because of the superstition that surrounds their appearance, but also because of the stigma and difficulties involved in raising a child with disabilities in communities which are often remote or impoverished. The inadequate process of registering births and deaths in many areas make is impossible to know the true rates of infanticide. However, several large tribes have traditions that result in the deaths of infants born with albinism that are known to sometimes still be practiced. The Sukuma tribe, the largest ethnic group in Tanzania, traditionally killed babies born

Six infants in the Ministry of Hope Nursery in Lilongwe. The albino baby in the middle was abandoned by her father. Her mother died in labour and the baby was thought to be bewitched. Image: By Lars Plougmann from London, United Kingdom (Ministry of Hope Nursery - DSCN1892) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Mutilation and Murder are Daily Threats for Africans with Albinism. with albinism instantly. In the Chagga tribe, also largely in Tanzania, the baby was put through a trial by ordeal which it rarely survived. A mother who gives birth to a baby with albinism can also suffer from superstition and mistaken beliefs. They can be repudiated by their husbands and their communities. Husbands sometimes suspect their wives of infidelity with a white man or consider the baby to be the ghost of a European colonist. Mothers who try to protect their children from attacks are often injured or killed alongside them.

Image: By Muntuwandi at en.wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bysa/2.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

As children are believed to be linked to the pursuit of innocence in many cultures, they are seen as more potent in witchcraft rituals than adults. This combined with the fact that children are easier to find, capture, restrain and transport make them extremely vulnerable to attacks and abduction. 12

In one of the most recent documented attacks, a toddler boy was taken from his home in Chato, Tanzania, on 18 February this year. Attackers stormed his home wielding machetes and attacked his mother in the abduction. Several days later the police found the boy’s body with its legs and arms hacked off. The boy’s mother remains in hospital with serious injuries from trying to protect her son. When PWA are seen as lucky and tokens of prosperity, traditional witchcraft rituals are performed using severed limbs, hair or bones. Sometimes they are obtained through grave robbing, a concerning practice in its own right, but often they are obtained from live victims. Mutilation in the process of obtaining these valuable body parts often results in death for the victim. There is even the belief that a ritual’s power in amplified by the screams of the victims, so amputations can become a torturous experience. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) knows of more than 200 cases of ritual attacks across fifteen countries


between 2000 and 2013. However, the true figure is undoubtedly much higher. Due to the secretive nature of witchcraft rituals and the remoteness of many communities which practice them, it is impossible to know the full extent of attacks.

friends and family members in the attack, a lack of awareness of legal rights and the legal process, and a lack of financial resources. In addition, the fact that the plight of PWA in Africa has received little comparative attention on the global human rights agenda means that organisations in a position to aid victims lack adequate resources and funds.

In 2013, a thirty-eight-year-old woman with albinism was attacked in her sleep by her husband and four other men. Her left arm was severed with machetes but she managed to survive the attack.

Fears of mutilation or murder are not the only challenges that PWA face in Africa. In communities where the standard of living, health care and education are often already low, children with albinism are often excluded and denied these basic human rights. Some families deny children an education, either due to stigmatization or the belief that it would be a waste of resources, and those that do attend school face exclusion and bullying. Visual impairment also makes it difficult for children to read, see blackboards and be engaged in their classes.

The same year a seven–year-old boy was attacked, also with machetes, while sleeping. The attackers slashed his forehead, right arm, left shoulder and severed his left arm. He did not survive the attack and neither did his grandfather who tried to protect him.

[“A few months ago, thanks to a friend of Source: By Ferdinand Reus (originally my father, my siblings and I escaped being posted to Flickr as Benin) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bythe victims of murder for witchcraft. My sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons father’s friend came to warn him that his three albino children were in danger of Another physical effect of albinism that being hunted, and he begged my father to leave Mwanza. This significantly impacts upon people living in this region is their wasn’t easy because my parents’ financial situation was not vulnerability to sun exposure. In developed countries of the good, but we packed up everything and left at 3 am that night. world, people with albinism have a normal life expectancy, but in We travelled over 500 kilometers to Dodoma and after two days sunny, hot and tropical climates where education and healthcare received news from home that people had broken into our house is limited, the risk to their health is exacerbated. In many regions in Mwanza looking to kill us” - Michael Hosea is a Tanzanian of Africa, PWA are unable or unaware of the need to protect teenager with albinism living in Dodoma and an advocate for their skin and eyes from the sun. The result is epidemic rates of the rights of young people with disabilities. His full story can be skin cancer which reduces life expectancy for PWA in African found in an essay on the UNICEF website. countries to between thirty and forty years. The worst situation Citing police officers in Dar es Saleem, a city in Tanzania, a UN is in Tanzania where only two per cent of children born with report stated that a complete set of albino body parts may fetch albinism live to the age of forty. the equivalent of US$75,000, supporting the common belief It is a human rights disaster that people with albinism are that the trade in people and body parts is dependent upon elite tortured, mutilated and murdered because of a condition that and wealthy members of society. This is one proposed reason they did not choose and cannot control. NGOs that work with why prosecution for crimes against people with albinism is rare PWA believe the solution lies in education: of communities and and difficult. The report also referenced claims that local law families, on the science and reality of albinism, and of PWA on enforcement authorities protect these wealthy and privileged the necessity of protection from sun exposure. The issue has buyers. Only seventy-two cases of murder of a person with received comparatively little attention in global human rights albinism have been reported in Tanzania since 2000, a number agendas but that has begun to change and there is a dedicated which is undoubtedly much higher in reality, yet only five of group of organisations that protect, educate and advocate for those cases are known to have had successful prosecution. PWA in Africa. Similar numbers appear in other countries of the region including Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Visit some of their websites below to learn more about the Congo. situation and how you can help. Wealth and status are not the only obstacles to victims and their families obtaining justice. Many cases are not even brought to the attention of authorities for fear of reprisals, the involvement of

Under the Same Sun Albinism South AfricaAsante Mariamu One way to help: Asante Mariamu Asante Mariamu is a non-for-profit organisation based in Eastern Africa that aims to raise awareness and support for people with albinism and garner attention for the human rights abuses that threaten them.

Image: By Help2kids (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 13

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The organisation raises funds of which eighty-eight per cent go directly into educational and support programs. They also gather sun-protective items into Rafiki Packs (rafiki means ‘friend’ in Swahili) such as sun screen, bucket hats and sunglasses. These backpacks are distributed to children with albinism in rural Tanzania and Uganda who would otherwise not be able to obtain or afford these vital items. Asante Mariamu encourages supporters to host a Sun Drive to collect donations of these goods. Contact the organisation for further details or visit their website.


THE DEATH PENALTY

The Death Penalty

INHUMAN, INEFFECTIVE & IRREVERSIBLE

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By Emily Williamson

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Images: Amnesty International

Electrocution, hanging, beheading, stoning, lethal injection or firing squad, regardless of what form it takes, the death penalty has no place in the criminal justice system.

It is an inhuman form of punishment that has not been proven to be more effective in deterring crime than any other punishment.

foreign nationals from Australia, the US, Brazil, China and France. People in Indonesia can be sentenced to death for a range of crimes including murder, drug trafficking, terrorism and treason.

According to the Death Penalty Information Centre the death penalty is not an effective form of punishment as people are not usually thinking logically or rationally when committing a crime.

The executions occur with prisoners standing or sitting with eyes blindfolded or with a hood over their head. The twelve members of the firing squad then line up between a five to ten metre distance away from the prisoner and fire. Out of the twelve firing squad members, only three will unknowingly have loaded guns whilst the rest will be loaded with blanks.

Instead of trying to deter people through severe penalties, governments should be focussing on the environmental and social factors contributing to the crimes occurring. The finality of the death penalty also leaves no room for error, which unfortunately still happens in the legal system.

Prisoners are only given seventy-two hours’ notice of their execution.

In the United States alone, 124 death row prisoners have been released since 1973 after evidence of their innocence emerged.

Amnesty International are vehemently against the death penalty in any country and any circumstance, and are currently campaigning for the Indonesian government to become the 141st nation to abolish the death penalty.

Some of them had spent many years on death row and had even come close to actually being executed.

It takes less than a minute: please follow this link and help us urge the Indonesian government to abolish the death penalty http://bit.ly/1FeWEzZ

In Indonesia death by firing squad still occurs, with around 134 prisoners currently awaiting execution on death row, including

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Anti Death Penalty VIGIL EVENT 18 FEB Hundreds stand for mercy for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan at Federation Square, Wednesday 18 February 2015. The Mercy Campaign organised the vigil in support of the two Australian men facing death row in Indonesia and included some of their friends and family, and performances by Clare Bowditch, Missy Higgins and Bob Evans. Eddie Perfect was MC of the event and read a letter from Chan who asked us all to think about the meaning of the word mercy. “This campaign is more than just about myself or Myu,” he wrote.

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“It represents a second chance to forgive, it represents kindness and help for those in a helpless situation.”

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VIGIL EVENT

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VIGIL EVENT

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Stop the execution of SHAFQAT

HUSSAIN

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By Lucy Howard-Robbins In Pakistan in 2004, 14-year-old Shafqat Hussain was sentenced to death from a confession allegedly obtained after nine days of police torture, and following an allegedly unfair trial that completely ignored the fact that he was a juvenile at the time of offence. His planned execution is illegal under both domestic and international law. The Pakistani government has resumed executing prisoners, which puts the lives of thousands of death-row prisoners in jeopardy, including Shafqat Hussain. His execution was originally scheduled for March 19, but has been temporarily halted. It has never been more urgent to fight for Shafqat’s right to life. Sign the petition now! http://bit.ly/1DIAiGT

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THE DEATH PENALTY

Candlelight vigils to

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#KEEPHOPEALIVE

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#KEEPHOPEALIVE

The decision to resume executions has set Indonesia against this global trend towards the abolition of the death penalty

Amnesty International united thousands of its supporters across Australia to ‘keep hope alive’, organising candlelight vigils calling for an end to the death penalty. It came as a group of prisoners on death row in Indonesia, including Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, were at imminent risk of execution. The execution of six people on January 18 and the dismissal of Myuran Sukumaran’s and Andrew Chan’s final clemency appeals to President Joko Widodo added to the urgency of the campaign. Sadly this hope for clemency was lost in the early hours of Wednesday morning 29 April 2015. Along with Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, Nigerian men Martin Anderson, Sylvester Nwolise, Okwudili Oyatanze and Raheem Salami, and Indonesian Zainal Badarudin, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were executed by firing squad. Amnesty International is deeply disappointed and saddened that these executions went ahead, and condemns the Indonesian government for its actions. “Our work to end the death penalty has been well underway for the last 30 years. In 1977, only 16 countries had stopped the punishment of death for all crimes; now 140 countries have abolished the practice,” said Diana Sayed, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Campaign Coordinator. “The decision to resume executions has set Indonesia against this global trend towards the abolition of the death penalty. “The death penalty is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and it has no place in today’s justice system. “There is simply no evidence that it deters people from committing crimes including drug or violent offences.” There are still others on death row around the world who need our help. Click here to see how http://bit.ly/1GISAZu Images by Mark Munro

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THE DEATH PENALTY

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#KEEPHOPEALIVE

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There is simply no evidence that it deters people from committing crimes including drug or violent offences


#KEEPHOPEALIVE

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Press Freedom freedom of the press world wide in 2014

Image: http://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.php Cite image as World Press Freedom Index 2014

To find out more information visit the Reporters without Borders website http://bit.ly/1xRuy6K

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Information sourced from Press Freedom Now http://bit.ly/1Jn4Bla

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PRESS FREEDOM

Australia vs Finland

What can Australia learn from Finland? By Emily Williamson As a student of journalism, press freedom is an issue I believe in fervently. A free press supports a democracy by holding governments accountable, pushing for greater transparency and empowering its citizens. In the last edition I questioned how free Australia’s press truly was, which came up with some startling facts. These included a severe lack of media diversity, a deficiency in legislative protection for journalists, and government imposed media blackouts on national issues. This made me wonder what it was that nations such as Finland, who has ranked number one on the Reporters without Borders Press Freedom Index for the past four years, were doing that Australia (who was ranked twenty-eight last year), weren’t.

Some factors that make Finland the freest press in the world

3.

1.

There is a strong union commitment in Finland with over 15,500 members in the Union of Journalists.

Finnish people are ardent consumers of the news, ranked third in the world for reading newspapers. This high demand of the news in turn creates a strong market, healthy competition and quality journalism.

2.

4.

The Finland government actively encourages its people to be informed with legislation and initiatives designed to increase access to information. They were actually the first nation in the world to make broadband internet access a legal right.

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The government of Finland is one of the least corrupt or secretive governments in the world. The result of having less to hide is having less reason to restrict the press. So the question is, what can the Australian government learn from Finland? For starters, introduce greater legislation to support journalists and the incredible work they do, become more transparent and acknowledge that citizens have a right to know what is happening, and encourage greater diversity in the media landscape. Maybe then Australia may have a chance of beating Ghana in the press freedom index next time.

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Government interference in the media is limited with the independent selfregulatory body, Council for Mass Media. Made up of media and journalists, this organisation limits the need for the government to oversee the media’s activities.

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REFUGEES’ HUMAN RIGHTS

Refugee Welcome Zone By Emily Williamson

Image of family sheltering with Š BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

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ARE YOU LIVING IN A REFUGEE WELCOME ZONE? What is a Refugee Welcome Zone? Simply put, it is a local government area which is committed to welcoming refugees into the community, upholding their human rights, showing compassion and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in the community.

According to the Refugee Council of Australia the welcome zone also acknowledges the wonderful contributions that refugees have made in Australia across many fields such as sport, education and the arts. Since 2002 the Refugee Welcome Zone initiative has supported and encouraged the many men, women and children who were forced to flee from dangerous circumstances in their homeland and make the harrowing journey to Australia. Since then the number of councils and shires in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia declared as Refugee Welcome Zones has grown from fifteen to more than 100. The initiative has proven to be a great success in providing local government with a better understanding of the challenges and issues facing refugees and asylum seekers in Australia. If your local government has not declared themselves a Refugee Welcome Zone you can write a letter of proposal to your mayor and councillors demonstrating the community support for refugees and asylum seekers, and how it would benefit the community. These benefits include a promotion of harmony, inclusion and respect, and strongly discourage racism and discrimination. It can also assist in raising awareness about challenges impacting refugees, and a better approach for supporting the settlement of refugees. Examples of ways the local government can support refugees include holding a multicultural film festival and working with local libraries to develop an English tutoring program. To find out if you live in a Refugee Welcome Zone or for more information please visit http://bit.ly/1yUrJl4 32


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The Lost Children By Lucy Howard-Robbins

With the high media profile of The Forgotten Children report http://bit.ly/1N7jNIQ from the Australian Human Rights Commission, there can be little excuse for ignorance or indifference on the plight of refugee and asylum seeker children held in Australian detention facilities. You can help force change by joining Amnesty’s Lost Children Campaign.

Bring this loss to the attention of the Australian government. Share a favourite childhood memory using one of Amnesty’s action card and they will be delivered to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and his Nauruan counterpart David Adeang in June.

We are calling on the Australian government to release children and their families detained on Nauru, and return these children to a safe, stable environment where they can experience the childhood that is their human right.

Share your memories using social media using #LostChildren.

What is at stake?

Pass an action card along to friends, family and networks to help spread the message further.

Essentially, children in detention are at risk of losing their futures. Children detained by Australia are proven to suffer physically, mentally, emotionally and developmentally in the conditions of detention facilities.

Add your voice Add your name to a petition calling on Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to put an end to the detention of children. Amnesty has partnered with GetUp, ChilOut, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Save the Children, Human Rights Law Centre, Children’s Rights International and Welcome to Australia for this petition.

For families on Nauru, there are only two options that release them from these conditions. Either they can be sent to Cambodia – a country without the resources to ensure that refugee children are protected and have their needs met – or they can be returned to their country of origin where many are at risk of persecution, torture or death.

For more Lost Children campaign information, ideas and resources, visit http://bit.ly/1H3DvjW and stay tuned for more campaigns, events and information on Amnesty’s Lost Children campaign!

Actions to take: Share a memory Children are locked up in detention for indefinite periods of time, many for more than a year. If you had lost an entire year of your childhood, what would you be missing now?

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“We want Freedom” By Lucy Howard-Robbins Under a scorching sun people line up for food, access to toilets, baby supplies, or for the chance to see a doctor. There is little shade; no respite from the relentless heat. The ground is hard and rocky. Wastewater runs freely from under the ablution buildings and trickles across the ground where people walk back and forth and children play. Mothers hold infants and toddlers in their arms, afraid to put them on the ground for fear they will be harmed or contract an illness. Some children have blackened, rotting teeth that are long overdue for attention; some have infected sores such as ring worm. Teenagers sit outside the buildings with no school to attend or activities to do. Hopelessness and desperation is evident on many people’s faces. This is not a description of a disaster zone, the Third World or a war. This is Australia. It is the scene that was painted by child psychiatrists and paediatricians when they visited some of Australia’s immigration detention facilities, including Christmas Island. While reading the following description of a childhood spent in Australian detention centres, keep in mind that Australia is the only Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country to impose indefinite detention upon both child and adult asylum seekers.

double fences and entered into via security gates. There was no grass, little shade from the relentless heat and few places suitable for children to play. In all weathers parents must line up for meagre food, access to the toilets and even a limited supply of baby formula and nappies. Some parents showed Dr. Mares containers of food given for the young children that were passed their use-by-date. She noted a lack of toys and equipment for children to play with and was told by a pregnant woman that there is no regular antenatal care, no midwife and lacking nutrition.

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In 2014 the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) launched their National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention and the reports from half a dozen experts found that detention was, unsurprisingly, a physically scarring, mentally damaging and developmentally harmful environment for children – and in complete violation of Australia’s international human rights obligations.

“I feel in my womb the baby is already depressed” – An expectant mother on Christmas Island to Dr. Mares.

The final report http://bit.ly/1DIA2rw was published by the government in February and garnered significant media and political attention. The expert experiences of life on Christmas Island comprised only one element of the report, but are the focus of this article, which was predominantly written prior to the report’s release.

Until just before the AHRC investigation, no developmental assessments of the children on Christmas Island had been undertaken. As a result, medical conditions and special needs were going untreated in the most valuable years of development. When left untreated, issues such as language delays, visual impairment and developmental regression have potentially lifelong effects for a child. All the families that Dr. Mares spoke to had been in detention six to nine months, and reported no help with developmental needs of their children.

There are currently around 800 children held in Australian immigration detention facilities. More than 100 of those are babies that were born in detention: children who have never known a world beyond the fence. On Christmas Island, housing for families resembled a prison, according to Child and Family Psychiatrist Dr. Sarah Mares, who visited Christmas Island in March 2014 as part of the AHRC inquiry. The living quarters were cramped, surrounded by high,

At times, families were separated from one another, which caused significant distress among the detainees, many of whom have already experienced painful separations and deaths in their home countries. Often, these separations were due to bureaucratic 34


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HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN HELD IN AUSTRALIAN DETENTION CENTRES ARE DENIED BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS.

All Drawings by children in detention, given to the Australian Human Rights Commission as part of the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention 2014

Center Image: By DIAC images [CC BY 2.0 (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Of all the bad things that have already happened now, I feel I wish I died at sea instead of then dying slowly here.

process more than anything else and they were perceived as cruel and inconsiderate of the best interests of children by the detainees. When adults were removed from the family or community within the facility, adolescents often filled the void of responsibility, both physically and emotionally, of caring for younger members. Due to the crowded living conditions, many children had recurrent infections, reported expert Professor Elizabeth Elliot. Professor Elliot is Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at Sydney University and visited Christmas Island in July 2014. She found that children frequently suffered respiratory infections and gastroenteritis, and many had been diagnosed with asthma which made these infections eve more dangerous and uncomfortable. The family housing units, called dongas, were approximately three x three metres. There was little room for children to move about or play inside without harming themselves. “The housing is dirty, sub-standard, hard to be there. The child keeps hitting his head on items in the room ... because of the lack of space” – A father talking about his 2 year old son to Professor Elliot. “He is only four years old and he has as many scars as a Vietnam soldier ...” – A father talking about his four-year-old son to Professor Elliot.

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At meal times, there were no fresh eggs, a lack of fresh fruit and poor quality meat, according to many parents. Again, parents produced food to the visitor that they had been given out of date; two mothers produced expired baby food that they had been given. The inability to move about and explore and play in a safe environment, combined with limited nutrition, could seriously compromise young children’s growth and physical development. This would have as much impact on their health and wellbeing in the future as the untreated medical conditions.

yet the children were fervent about the toys, having come from a comparatively impoverished environment, and the room seemed abundant in comparison to the camp. Just as important as education, children need sensitive interactions with those around them. In an environment where many adults were traumatised and depressed, even before they reached the camp, children’s need for social interaction and affection was going unmet. In the harsh living conditions and with often no information of their futures, many adults became further depressed and distressed. Children were continuously exposed to violence in the community. Both their physical and emotional needs were unmet as children shared their caregivers’ pain and anxiety in witnessing acts of self-harm and abuse.

Equally vital to development in children is stimulation. The desire for learning, socialisation and activity was common among both children and adults on Christmas Island. As of Dr. Mares’ visit to the facility, there were 160 school aged children residing there. Children attended an on-site school or were taken to the nearby Christmas Island school, but they were limited to a maximum of two weeks per child, yet the average length that a child is detained is 221.5 days. Children reported their limited schooling experience as disappointing, with lots of drawing and watching videos. Pre-school aged children had resources of a similar state. A playgroup was run at the Christmas Island child care centre for two days of the week but was limited to twentyfive children and parents. It was also only open to families in one of the camps, due to the difficulties in transporting detainees across the island. Dr. Mares found that the resources were what would be expected of an average Australian child care setting and

“When I see my parents cry I feel very sad. When I see that you are free, I want to be free as well. When they let me go on the island tour or when I went to school I was happy, but sad as well ... I feel I am here in a zoo, like an animal behind a fence” – A tenyear-old girl to Dr. Mares. Parents were often well aware that their children’s development was being hampered by the conditions of the facilities, and that only added to their guilt, anger and despair. 36


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Center imgae: Dormitories in Christmas Island Lilac Compound Source: By DIAC images [CC BY 2.0 (http:// creativecommons. org/licenses/ by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


REFUGEES’ HUMAN RIGHTS

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Image below: Dormitories in Christmas Island Lilac Compound By DIAC images [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Of all the bad things that have already happened now, I feel I wish I died at sea instead of then dying slowly here.

In addition, many children had their own mental health problems that were serious and severely neglected. Some children had never known a world outside of the detention facility. Parents reported their distress upon seeing their young children ‘play’ at being officers and detainees or hearing their first words being ’officer’ or ‘fence.’

The conditions that children and adults exist in within Australian detention facilities contravene numerous international laws. Australia is a signatory to most United Nations conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Conventions on the Right of the Child, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Refugee Convention, all of which prohibit our treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.

“Our two-and-a-half-year-old has learned to swear, and he fights all the time, even in his sleep he is throwing himself around. All his vocabulary is about detention. They are all more disobedient now” – A parent to Dr. Mares.

“Children who come into a country as refugees should have the same rights as children who are born in that country” – Article 22 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

While there were mental health professionals on Christmas Island, few of them had paediatric training or experience working with families. In addition, few had the specific skills required to work with survivors of torture and trauma.

Children, regardless if they are Australian citizens living in suburban Melbourne or asylum seekers who comes to our shores, have the right to freedom, health, respect, education, play and family. These are the building blocks of a healthy and happy adulthood and the minimum that every child deserves.

“Of all the bad things that have already happened now, I feel I wish I died at sea instead of then dying slowly here” – An unaccompanied minor to Dr. Mares.

The children living on Christmas Island and in other Australian detention facilities do not have these fundamental rights. As a result their physical and mental health, education and development are suffering irreparable damage.

Many children that the experts observed demonstrated nightmares, flashbacks, bed-wetting and social withdrawal. Others regressed in their development, self-harmed and demonstrated defiant or aggressive behaviour; all common symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, pervasive anxiety, hopelessness and depression.

“I believe you [Australian] are nice people, peace seeker, you support unity. If you come to see us behind the fence, think about how you would feel. Are you aware of what happens here? Come and see our life.

“He is two years nine months old. He screams in his sleep, wets the bed. He was dry before. We get nappies but they are too small, baby size ...” – A parent to Dr. Mares.

I wonder whether if the Government of Iran created a camp like Woomera and Australians had seen a picture of it, if they would have given people a visa to come to Australia then” – An unaccompanied minor who was formerly detained in Woomera. Note: Since the time of writing, some information in this article may have changed and no longer be the most up to date. For the most recent information please visit the Australian Human Rights Commission National Inquiry into Children in Detention 2014 or read the report The Forgotten Children Take Action

Just as with the adult population in detention, children’s desperation, anger and depression sometimes manifests in selfharming behaviour. Between 1 January 2013 and 31 March 2014, there had been 128 documented cases of children self-harming in Australian detention facilities (excluding Nauru and Manus) and 171 children threatening self-harm.

Join the Amnesty International Australia Campaign to speak up for children in Australian detention centres.

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Professor Elliot observed a twelve-year-old girl who had withdrawn to her room and not eaten or spoken for three days. She had been physically abused in her homeland and her mother had self-harmed while in detention. Another father told how he watched his four-year-old tie a string around his neck and say, “I’m tired of it here. I want to go home.”


REFUGEES’ HUMAN RIGHTS

Helping Refugees Tell Their Stories Through Art The Refugee Art Project is an incredible initiative created by a diverse group of academics and artists, who shared a concern for asylum seekers and refugees making the harrowing journey to Australia. Guilty of nothing else but seeking a life without fear, they are locked indefinitely in detention centres around Australia and overseas. The Refugee Art Project works within the Villawood detention centre and with refugees in the community, conducting regular art workshops which are then published in numerous zine publications and at their art exhibitions.

Contributors come from all around the world and include men, women and children from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Iran, the Kurdish regions of the Middle East, and Burma. Co-founder of the Refugee Art Project, Safdar Ahmed, says that being able to express themselves through art has played an important role in the lives of refugees and asylum seekers. “Refugees who contribute to our exhibitions are often motivated by the thought of communicating their feelings and representations to the broader public through their artwork, so it’s great to see people get excited by that and take pride in the results,” he said. Sadly, however, there have been some difficulties in implementing this project, including the transfer of refugees by the Department of Immigration from the Villawood detention centre to remote centres around the country last year. This resulted in a loss of many people from the art workshops and a feeling of helplessness among the refugees. “We’ve seen people refouled against their will and children being traumatised. We’ve known many asylum seekers and refugees who’ve engaged in self-harm or died in the centre,” Mr. Ahmed said. The services provided in detention centres are severely lacking with vast improvements needing to be made in mental health services, legal support, and access to information. In addition to this there needs to be greater accountability and transparency in the detention centres which requires an increase in media access. Regardless of whether these changes are implemented, however, the issue is still detention itself. Mr. Ahmed says that even if centres were comfortable and services were better there would still be high levels of suffering and mental illness as a result of indefinitely being detained when having done nothing wrong. “At the end of the day, few improvements can properly ameliorate the anxiety and illness that detention creates,” he said. When considering the current discourse surrounding refugees and asylum seekers Mr. Ahmed cannot help but feel disheartened.

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“Our two largest political parties agree that punishing refugees is the best way to stop more from coming, as though our policies would influence the movement of people fleeing war and oppression in places like Iran, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka,” he said. “Refugee Art Project does not believe people should be penalized for seeking asylum in Australia and we flatly oppose the policy of mandatory and indefinite detention.”

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THE REFUGEE ART PROJECT

Alwy Fadhel Art

You can also follow them on social media RefugeeArtProject

TheRefugeeArtProject

@RefugeeArtProj 41

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For more information please visit their website http://bit.ly/1Jn4JB7


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THE REFUGEE ART PROJECT

Art Workshops

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REFUGEES’ HUMAN RIGHTS

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Surviving Detention Portfolio

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THE REFUGEE ART PROJECT

We’ve known many asylum seekers and refugees who’ve engaged in self-harm or died in the centre...

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THE REFUGEE ART PROJECT

Exile Portfolio

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MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS A PROGRESS REPORT By Katie O’Connell In 2000, world leaders gathered at the UN headquarters in New York for the Millennium Summit, with the intention of putting together a range of achievable, time-based goals aimed at improving global development outcomes by 2015. These became known as the Millennium Development Goals.

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

MDG #1 is largely considered one of the great success stories of the millennium development goals. The aim of halving “the proportion of people whose income [was] less than US$1 a day” (since revised to US$1.25 per day) was met in 2010, five years ahead of schedule. The success of this goal can be largely attributed to China, where over 470 million people have emerged from extreme poverty since 1990, however, rates of extreme poverty decreased in all developing regions, with Southeast Asia the first region to reach the target.

Related to MDG #2, MGD #3 aims to “eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, in all levels of education, no later than 2015”. Despite some progress with regards to education parity between boys and girls at primary school age, it looks unlikely that this MDG will have been achieved. The starkest contrast remains with regards to tertiary education: for every one-hundred boys enrolled in university education worldwide, there are just seventy-seven girls. Poverty, pregnancy, and poor sanitation all act as barriers to girls pursuing education beyond primary school.

Another important aspect of MDG #1 was to halve the number of people suffering from malnourishment. Figures in 2013 suggest that this part of the goal is also on track to be achieved by 2015: in 1990-92 23.3 per cent of the world’s population suffered from extreme hunger; in 2010-2012 this had reduced to 14.9 per cent.

MDG #3 also aims to enhance women’s involvement in the labour market and in government, both of which are directly related to women’s ability to access education. In politics, the gender gap remains stubbornly high. The existence of quotas for women in parliaments have been attributed to improvements in gender equity within politics in both developed and developing countries, however, as of 2012, women still only hold just over 20 per cent of parliamentary seats globally.

Despite the benchmark of success having been achieved for this goal, there remains a significant proportion of the global population that remains in extreme poverty: soberingly, 1.2 billion people – or just over 16 per cent of the global population, remains in extreme poverty, while one in eight suffer from extreme hunger.

Violence against women is recognised by the UN as a key barrier to women reaching their full potential, and this remains a major challenge for both developed and developing countries.

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality

MDG #2 aims to “ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling”.

MGD #4 aims to “reduce by two-third, between 1990 and 2015, the mortality rate of children under five”.

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Significant strides have been made to increase the proportion of primary-aged students enrolled in school: in 2010, 90 per cent of children in developing countries were enrolled in primary education. However, a decrease in international aid means that the goal of further reducing the number of children not enrolled in schooling is unlikely to be met by 2015.

One of the easier goals to measure also seems unlikely to be met, despite the mortality rate of children under five having almost been halved since 1990. Sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia remain particularly problematic with regards to child mortality, although countries such as Bangladesh, Timor-Leste and Ethiopia have made significant improvements; key issues include malnourishment, malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea, as well as birthing complications.

Literacy rates, particularly in northern Africa and southern Asia, have increased significantly since 1990. However, illiteracy remains a major problem even for those who are enrolled in school; 250 million children worldwide cannot read and write, which is a major factor in students leaving school prior to finishing their primary education. Gender is also a key determinant of access to literacy and education: 61 per cent of youth without basic literacy are female.

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MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Goal 5: Improve maternal health

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

MGD #5 had two primary goals: to “reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio” and to “achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health”.

MGD #7 is a multi-pronged goal, aiming to: reverse the loss of environmental resources and encourage governments to implement policies in line with environmental sustainability; reverse the loss of environmental resources and the loss of biodiversity; improve access to potable drinking water and appropriate sanitation; and to improve the livelihoods of a significant proportion of those who live in the world’s slums.

Despite it looking unlikely that this goal will have been met, progress on this goal has been made on 1990 levels: maternal death during childbirth has halved, with significant developments in East Asia and Africa.

This has been one MGD that has struggled to make significant progress, although there have been definite success stories: the goal to improve availability of clean drinking water has exceeded the MGD target, with over 2.1 billion people benefitting from this since 1990, and over 2 billion more people now having access to improved sanitation. Although the number of people living in slums has actually increased since 1990, primarily due to increased urbanisation, the MDG to improve the quality of life of many living in slums has been met, with greater access to sanitation, safe water and reduced high density housing. However, almost 35 per cent of the global population still does not have access to toilets.

Key indicators in the provision of maternal health include the availability of skilled maternal health professionals and the accessibility of contraception: rates of mortality are noticeably lower in countries and regions where contraception is widely available. Successfully achieving this goal is inextricably linked to both the child mortality goal, as well those goals related to the education of women. According to official statistics, “the risk of maternal death is 2.7 times higher among women with no education”, a figure that decreases in line with the number of years a woman has benefited from formal education.

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Other aspects of the failure to meet the environmental sustainability goal are well documented and remain a challenge for governments and all global citizens: overfishing continues to be a huge problem; deforestation continues apace, particularly in South America and Africa; the pace of extinction of many mammals and birds continues to increase; and global carbon dioxide levels have increased by over 46 per cent on 1990 levels.

MGD #4 aims to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases such as tuberculosis, and to ensure universal access to antiretroviral therapies. The first part of this goal has largely been achieved: between 2001 and 2012, new HIV/AIDS infections dropped by 33 per cent; worldwide deaths from malaria decreased by 26 per cent between 2000 and 2010; and deaths from tuberculosis decreased by 41 per cent in the two decades from 1991.

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development MGD #8 aims to develop a more transparent financial system; deal with issues surrounding sovereign debt; provide developing countries with greater access to essential pharmaceuticals; and to embrace the benefits of technology, particularly in developing countries. Debt management in developing countries has largely improved, as has the provision of debt relief for the poorest of countries, and trade between developed and developing countries has also increased due the reduction of tariffs. The impact that the global financial crisis had on international aid efforts continues to be an issue that requires addressing. Mobile phone and internet technologies now reach a much greater proportion of the world’s population than they did in 2000, although only 31 per cent of those in the developing world have access to the internet. 49

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Despite a record number of sufferers receiving treatment in 2012, and antiretroviral treatments having saved over 6 million lives in the past two decades, the aim of universal access to HIV/AIDS therapies has not been met to date. Greater education among young people is named as a priority for this goal beyond 2015.


WHERE TO FROM HERE?

Despite considerable successes in improving development outcomes since 2000, there remains quite a way to go before the aims of the Millennium Development Goals are fully realised. This is acknowledged by the UN and the wider development community, with Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon noting at the MDG Summit in 2010, that “We have more development success stories than ever before. The transformative impact of the MDGs is undeniable. This is an achievement we can be proud of. But … the clock is ticking, with much more to do.”

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All statistics sourced from the United Nations. For more information, see http://bit.ly/1ajQb9t

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MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Images: MDG infograhics showing the world's progress and the challenges that remain http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/mdgmomentum.shtml#prettyPhoto[infographics]/2/ AM-UNITY MAG EDITION 4

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VOLUNTEER PROFILE

Matthew Cox RECOGNIZE YOUR POTENTIAL AM-UNITY Interview with Matthew Cox as told to Alice Lee. Matthew Cox volunteered in the Ucan2 program in February to June last year with the Centre of Multicultural Youth. Ucan2 is a program to assist youth with migrant and refugee backgrounds to settle down more comfortably in Melbourne. The program is running one afternoon per week for a six month period. Through a variety of activities, volunteers assist students to develop skills to meet day to day challenges, and build up a strong bond within the community. Matthew is studying International Studies at Monash University, and is currently an exchange student in China University in Japan.

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“I decided to become a volunteer because I was taking less contact hours at university for that semester and I knew I would have more free time. I thought volunteering would be a great way to meet new people and make new friends. I chose Ucan2 after doing some research online for volunteer programs. I was looking for one that would allow me to meet new people and learn about the world, whilst still allowing me to offer some of my own knowledge. As an international studies major, I found it really beneficial to have the opportunity to communicate with people who have come from a wide range of countries. Another reason I chose the Ucan2 program is that because it is only one afternoon a week it was very easy to fit into my university timetable and didn’t affect my study time.

“For me the most inspiring part of the program was the amount of energy that everyone brought with them each week. Everyone would have their own life outside of the program where they were working on something else; work, study, etc, yet everyone would come to the class each week and were able to focus on the task at hand. It was inspiring to see everyone’s busy lives outside of the class and how they were still able to find the time to volunteer. Everyone would feed off each other’s enthusiasm, which created a really good culture.

“In Ucan2 my role was to help young people who had just arrived in Australia adjust to life in Australia. The students we worked with came from a diverse range of backgrounds and all took English language classes together at Box Hill AMES. We, the volunteers, would come to AMES once per week to meet with the students and each week we would have a particular task to work on with them. These tasks ranged from helping with resume writing to explaining some Australian slang. As volunteers, we also became contacts for the youths outside of their English class so they could make friends and become immersed in the community.

“I think spending time with people from other countries and cultures is an important part of personal growth and learning about the world. It was always interesting hearing people’s perspective on various topics which arose and witnessing people’s reactions to various things. Being able to meet people from parts of the world that I knew very little about really allowed me to understand some new cultures that otherwise I wouldn’t have had the chance to.”

“A wonderful part about the Ucan2 programs was that it gave me something to look forward to each week. Every week we did something enjoyable and it was great getting to spend time with everyone. Each person brought something unique to the program and I really enjoyed getting to know everyone over the course of the program. Being able to make friends who I spent time with both through the program and outside of it was a great experience. Time spent volunteering never felt like it was work because it was time spent with friends.

To learn more about the Ucan 2 program, please go to http://bit.ly/1PiC9W2 For other volunteer programs in Centre of Multicultural Youth, please visit http://bit.ly/1FeQrUO 52


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When you get to a point where people feel comfortable enough to talk with you, it feels great.

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BOOK REVIEW

BOOK REVIEW THE ETHICAL TRAVEL GUIDE A book review by Sarah Mokrzycki The Ethical Travel Guide was created by Tourism Concern in 2006 as a means to arm travellers with information for responsible global travel. The guide acts as a moral compass, providing insight into ethical travel options, advice on avoiding – and spotting – tourist traps, and most importantly, information for making smart travel choices that benefit locals and cultural customs rather than detracting from them. The Guide offers an extensive range of global travel options, so whether you’re looking for volunteer work in Madagascar conserving villages and marine life or fancy indulging in the luxury of the ethically sound Levendis Estate in Greece, the guide caters to all tastes and budgets.

An excellent example of this is the infamous Tiger Temple in Thailand, which many people visit believing it to be an animal sanctuary. In reality, the tigers are mistreated, chained and drugged in order to remain so serene around countless tourists. Another example is ‘orphanage tourism’, which is particularly popular

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Perhaps the most imperative thing

the guide does is list the various groups, hotels, charities and non-profit organisations ‘hosting’ tourism options – from cultural tours to volunteer work to accommodation. This is so vital as, unfortunately, many seemingly ethical travel options geared to first-world tourists are actually traps used as a means to make money off of vulnerable locals and wildlife – and where tourist money meant for conservation instead goes into the hands of abusers.

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amongst university student travellers. In Cambodia, for example, although the country’s number of orphans has dropped the number of orphanages has inexplicably doubled. In some cases, children are removed from families and put into institutional care for the sake of making money from tourists, who donate time and money believing it will benefit local children (when in reality it benefits shady business owners instead). This is why the Guide is so important for anyone wanting to not only travel ethically, but also wanting to travel to make a difference. It provides knowledge on scams, places to avoid, but much more importantly, it gives sound and sensible advice on how to really help the locals, wildlife and environment in these troubled areas.


FILM REVIEW

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AM-UNITY MAGAZINE Amnesty International Australia Suite 8, 134 Cambridge Street Collingwood, VIC 3066 Telephone: +61 3 9412 0700 Fax: 03 9412 0720 www.am-unitymagazine.com For submissions please send all artwork, photography or articles to amunitymagazine@gmail.com When sending articles send rich text format or docx and for images send, 72 dpi and rgb files.

Profile for AM-UNITY Magazine

Edition 4  

The 4th edition of AM-UNITY magazine is out now! Just click on the magazine cover on the left to view our latest edition – in it we explore...

Edition 4  

The 4th edition of AM-UNITY magazine is out now! Just click on the magazine cover on the left to view our latest edition – in it we explore...

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