The Commonwealth Wire

Call for Australian government to end limbo of refugees

Human Rights Watch says the government needs to do something to end the limbo of more than 2,000 refugees languishing on Papua New Guinea and Nauru. In a new report, the NGO said many of the detainees had dire mental health problems, exacerbated by their prolonged confinement.

UNICEF Pacific in Vanuatu: Partner Update, November – December 2016

Ongoing support by UNICEF to both the Vanuatu National Recovery TC Pam plan and longer term development activities within line Ministries is to be fully embedded in the 2017 Business Plans. Benefits include greater ownership, mutual accountability, transparency and commitments in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health, Nutrition, Education

Bangladesh’s human rights scenario more terrible than HRW report

BNP today claimed that the actual human rights scenario in Bangladesh is more terrible than the 2017 report of Human Rights Watch (HRW). According to BNP, the Bangladesh authorities have failed to protect bloggers, secularists, academics, gay rights activists and religious minorities from violent -- often fatal -- attacks by militant groups.

People living in rural areas face extreme danger

As the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday in shock of yet another brutal farm attack, South Africa is in urgent need of a rural safety policing strategy and a specialised rural safety unit in the South African Police Service (SAPS) needs to be re-established, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday. 

Tribal marks on children is an infringement on human rights

Many parents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have frowned at the inscription of tribal marks on the faces of children, describing it as archaic, and an infringement on their fundamental human rights, since the marks are given to the children without their consent.

More needed to address human rights issues

In its annual human rights report, Human Rights Watch says more needs to be done in Papua New Guinea to make perpetrators of violence, corruption and police brutality accountable for their actions. Especially highlighted are the lack of meaningful reduction in the high rates of gender-based violence, and the fact a Family Violence Act in 2013 is yet to be implemented.

Human rights abuses in Bahrain cast shadow over £2m UK aid support

The government is facing fresh questions about Britain’s aid strategy after it emerged that a controversial multi-million pound programme of support for Bahrain’s security and justice system is being bolstered this year, even as the Gulf state reverses reforms to a key intelligence agency accused of torture.

Women empowerment transforms Africa

The empowerment of women is an important step for the development of African states and the African Union has already produced significant legislation to foster this goal. However, according to Botswana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, there are still problems to be resolved by governments, particularly the timely administration of justice.

NGOs slam India’s human rights situation, shrinking democratic space

A number of non-governmental organizations have criticized the Indian government for its poor record with regard to critical issues such as harassment of civil rights activists, shrinking democratic space, discrimination against minorities, and condition of women, children, Dalits and tribal people in the country.

Government pledges to go after human traffickers

Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally, in a message to mark National Human Trafficking Awareness Day said government is dedicated to eradicating the scourge of human trafficking and will pursue all perpetrators wherever they operate.

Pakistani bloggers are feared abducted

HRW urges the Pakistani government to investigate the feared abduction of four activists who campaign for human rights and religious freedom. The four men went missing or were taken away from different cities between January 4 and January 7, 2017.

Canada to work towards advancing human rights says Minister

Amarjeet Sohi, Ottawa’s Minister of Communities and Infrastructure has said that his country an immigration policy based on social inclusion rather than exclusion. The relationship between Canada and other countries such as India was mentioned, and the acquisition of diversity, knowledge, pluralism and law too advance ideas.

The ongoing genocide in Myanmar

As a result of a military crackdown in Myanmar, thousands of people, mainly Rohingya, have left their homes and are attempting to enter neighbouring Bangladesh to find shelter. The Myanmar government argues that the Rohingya people have migrated from neighbouring Bangladesh and so denies them citizenship rights. However, due to the number of migrants, the Bangladeshi government has refused to accept more Rohingya. The UN and human rights organisations are thus urging the Bangladeshi government to provide shelter to the fleeing Rohingyas.

More work needed on human rights

LHR has released a national report card based on Australia’s human rights performance for 2016, in which it identified the federal government as the poorest performer out of Australia’s federal, state and territory governments.

Human rights group tells Fashola to take Nigeria out of the darkness

The human rights advocacy group, The Wailing Wailers, has urged the Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) to create an adequate supply of power to the country. The lack of, has led to the collapse of infrastructure as businesses rely on the power to survive. Also, diseases have spread wider and faster that come with the adverse weather becoming rampant.

Sydney church hit with human rights complaint

A Japanese- Australian community leader said that on Thursday he filed a racial discrimination complaint against a Church in Sydney that he accused of intimidating Japanese nationals by erecting a memorial to women forced t work as sex slaves by Japan’s World War 2 army.

US to fund US$ 1.7 million (£1.36) on Transitional Justice & Reconciliation

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announced an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that support the DRL policy goal to bolster and enhance transitional justice and reconciliation processes in Sri Lanka at the provincial and national levels, a notice issued by State Department said.

Co-founder of Tanzania whistleblowing website arrested

Tanzanian police have searched the home and office of the co-founder of a whistleblowing website after he was arrested for not disclosing the identities of people who posted there. Human rights groups have expressed opposition with the government of President Mahufuli on freedom of expression and other violations.