Archive for May, 2015


The real intent of these provisions is to impede health, environmental, safety, and, yes, even financial regulations meant to protect America’s own economy and citizens. Companies can sue governments for full compensation for any reduction in their future expected profits resulting from regulatory changes.

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UNHCR, OHCHR, IOM and SRSG for Migration and Development:

Press Releases, 19 May 2015

We, the undersigned*, strongly urge the leaders of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, to protect migrants and refugees stranded on vessels in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, to facilitate safe disembarkation, and to give priority to saving lives, protecting rights, and respecting human dignity.

Grave events in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea in recent days involving migrants and refugees Rohingya and others from Bangladesh and Myanmar confirm that vulnerable people around the world are moving in search of safety and dignity, fleeing persecution, abject poverty, deprivation, discrimination, and abuse. Such perilous journeys, whether by land, sea, or air, have become a global phenomenon.

In Southeast Asia, more than 88,000 people have made the dangerous voyage by sea since 2014, including 25,000 who arrived in the first quarter of this year alone. Nearly 1,000 are believed to have perished at sea due to the precarious conditions of the voyage, and an equal number because of mistreatment and privation at the hands of traffickers and abusive smugglers. In the Bay of Bengal, migrants and refugees are fed only white rice and are subjected to violence, including sexual violence. Women are raped. Children are separated from their families and abused. Men are beaten and thrown overboard.

We are deeply concerned at reports that boats full of vulnerable women, men and children are unable to land and are stranded at sea without access to urgently needed food, water, and medical assistance. We urge States in the region to protect the lives of all aboard by allowing the passengers on these overcrowded boats to disembark safely.

We urgently call on leaders, with the support of ASEAN, to:

1. Make saving lives the top priority by inter alia significantly strengthening Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations.

2. Stop boat push-backs and measures to ‘help on’ boats to leave territorial waters, while ensuring that all measures taken are in strict accordance with the principle of non-refoulement and other fundamental human rights standards.

3. Provide for effective, predictable disembarkation to a place of safety with adequate and humane reception conditions.

4. Avoid the use of immigration detention and other punitive measures, and ensure that the human rights of all migrants and refugees are protected, and that all actions in regard to children are guided by the best interests of the child.

5. Set in place screening procedures staffed jointly by government and relevant international organization personnel to identify the individual circumstances of all those arriving, including a) individuals in need of protection as refugees, asylum-seekers, or stateless persons, b) victims of trafficking or persons at risk of torture or other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment if returned to their country of origin, c) migrants with health conditions in need of emergency medical care and first aid assistance, and d) migrants or others interested in voluntary return home.

6. Expand avenues for safe and legal migration, including for labour migration at all skills levels.

7. Expand efforts to prosecute traffickers and smugglers for their crimes in full accordance with international standards for human rights, while fully respecting the rights of victims.

8. Redouble efforts, nationally and through strengthened international cooperation, to address ‘push factors’ and the root causes of refugee and migrants flows, including discrimination, deprivation, persecution, and violations of human rights.

9. Put in place dedicated measures to combat xenophobia and discrimination against any group on the basis of race, sex, language, religion, ethnicity, nationality and national origin, or other status.

*António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees; Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; William L. Swing, Director-General of the International Organization for Migration; and Peter Sutherland, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for International Migration and Development

See also Refugee Rights Action Network for Oz based info and events…

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Professor Alex Haslam speaking at 2014 Division of Clinical Psychology annual conference in Glasgow.

For more information about DCP events visit the DCP website http://www.bps.org.uk/dcp

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“…Climate change has become the premier environmental issue facing the globe. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions continue to grow and accumulate in the atmosphere. The average global temperature in 2014 was the highest recorded over the last century and a half. Most scientists say that climate change is a “very serious problem.” Yet virtually no progress has been made in convincing the general public of its serious nature, nor have significant steps been taken to curb emissions and slow warming. Why has progress been so halting?

The risks of a warming world and potential policies to deal with these risks are the subject of a short book by Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman…”

(click cover pic for piece in full + gratis @ The New York Review of Books) 

Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet

by Gernot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman
Princeton University Press, 250 pp., $27.95
Professor Mary Doyle speaking at 2014 Division of Clinical Psychology (BPS) annual conference in Glasgow.

For more information about DCP events visit the DCP website http://www.bps.org.uk/dcp.

Published on May 13, 2015
Scott speaks about the scope creep of data retention contained in the Australian Border Force Bill 2015, which sees the regime expanding just weeks after originally being passed through Parliament. For a transcript visit http://bit.ly/1AYiWj1

“Every time an agency sticks its hand up, either overtly or covertly, to be able to access the private records of ordinary people I am going to make an absolute point of pointing it out and putting it on the record so that maybe the government, once they are safely back in opposition, or the Australian Labor Party might want to rethink what they did to all Australian citizens when they waved through the data retention legislation upon all of us…”

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Adrian Burragubba,
on behalf of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council
for the Wangan and Jagalingou people :


When we rejected Indian mining company Adani’s offer to exploit our land, they took aggressive legal action to overrule our rights just six days later. Now we have to fight to protect our land in court.

They have betrayed our trust and are getting set to destroy our land and our culture. You’ve pledged your support, but now I’m going to have to ask you, if you can, to help me again.

We face losing everything that is our inheritance. But to mount this fight to protect our heritage, we need more than our conviction and courage. We urgently need funds to mount a legal challenge and appeal against Adani’s action. Can you please make a donation so we can fight Adani in court?

Adani is trying everything, and from the beginning have shown their arrogant, disrespectful treatment of our law and customs. They have misrepresented us, and they have betrayed us. They took action to remove our rights through a legal system designed to favour big mining over the rights of Indigenous peoples. It seems they’ll stop at nothing to get their mine, which will destroy our ancestral land and the underpinnings of our lore and culture.

If we can raise enough money, we will appeal the National Native Title Tribunal’s decision to allow the Queensland Government to issue mining leases to Adani, despite our refusal to enter an agreement with the company. The Tribunal even recognised that we have not given our consent or agreement to the mine, but still overruled our internationally recognised rights in favour of Adani.

The Tribunal has sanctioned the destruction of our ancestral lands and cultural heritage on the grounds that it’s in the ‘public interest’. We will contest the idea that building one of the world’s largest coal mines is good for the people and the country.

Our right to self-determination and free, prior, and informed consent is being trampled.

We have to fight back, but we can only do it with the help of our supporters. Can you please get behind us to fight for our rights and our land in court by donating to our fighting fund? http://www.getup.org.au/stand-with-us

The truth is we’re up against a multi-billion dollar company and a legal system that makes it very tough for traditional owners. We know we’ve got a strong, righteous case to run, but we’re not going to leave it at that.

We’ll continue to fight for our rights through the courts, and look to international law if need be. We will visit investment banks around the world to stop the project getting funding. And if it comes to it, we will take our fight all the way to the United Nations.

This fight will define our people and be a landmark moment for Indigenous rights and climate change in Australia. Can you help us defeat Adani by donating to our fighting fund?

Adani think they can walk all over us but they’ve never seen anything like this. Our lands and our way of life, and the legacy of our ancestors, mean too much to our people to rollover. We are here to fight and we won’t stop until our land is protected.

PS – After I first wrote to you and others, Wangan and Jagalingou people were overwhelmed by the response. To know that more than 90,000 people have chosen to stand with us as we fight to protect our land and our culture from Adani has given us real strength and confidence. On behalf of Wangan and Jagalingou people who are opposed to this mine, we sincerely thank you.

See also earlier interpretOr piece: Great Barrier Reef threat – Government of India report contains clear evidence that (Abbot Point) developer Adani Enterprises “violated environmental norms” at Mundra Port (India)

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::: just click above for Pilger’s piece in full :::

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Current issue: May 2015

                … After Greece, who’s next? Iran and Saudi Arabia, strategic balancing act; Germany special report, politics and the euro; crisis in the Mediterranean, what asylum policy? untold stories. Piketty, the wealth of the wealthy, London, playground of the global rich… and more…click cover to access

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