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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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The 25th Anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody

The 15th of April 2016 marks 25 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody handed down its final report, which set many directions in current Indigenous policy. The commission was established in 1987 by the Hawke government, and examined 99 Indigenous deaths in custody between 1 January 1980 and 31 May 1989. The key finding of the Royal Commission was that the deaths were due to the combination of police and prisons failing their duty of care, and the high numbers of Indigenous people being arrested and incarcerated. Indigenous and non-Indigenous prisoners did not have different death rates.  Read more...

The Racial Discrimination Act: Insults, Timing and Debate

The varying nature of insults and their context, along with a question as to whose standards they should be judged against is discussed in the Parliamentary Library’s recently issued Research Paper ‘The Attorney-General’s suggested changes to the Racial Discrimination Act’. One of the changes proposed by the Attorney-General would change the standards by which insults are to be evaluated. The law as it stands takes into account the perspective of the racially distinct person being insulted when considering the impact of that insult, whereas the proposed changes would confine judges to considering the ‘ordinary, reasonable’ Australian with no reference to a... Read more...

Trafficking in Persons: a round up of recent Australian events.

As we prepare to mark the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery on 2 December, it is timely to reflect on what has been a busy two weeks for all of those involved in Australia’s anti-trafficking efforts.As reported an earlier FlagPost, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children, has been in Australia for a two week fact finding mission (17–30 November), which included meetings with Government and non-government agencies, public lectures in Sydney and Melbourne (see also here), and a Parliamentary Library Lecture in Canberra. On 23 November, the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, with the Ministers for Immigration and Citizenshi... Read more...

UN Special Rapporteur Visits Australia

Dr Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children, is in Australia for a two week fact finding mission (17-30 November). Special Rapporteurs are independent experts appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council (formerly the Commission on Human Rights) to investigate, monitor, and advise on human rights violations  –  world wide or in specific countries. In carrying out their mandate, the Special Rapporteurs undertake: country visits to study the situation on the ground and develop recommendations to better prevent or combat trafficking and protect the human rights of its victims; and take action on complaints about hum... Read more...

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