Humane Rights

Human Rights Gay Rights
Michael Kirby

“The first school that I ever attended was a local kindergarten conducted by Mrs Church. I have no idea of her first name. Back in 1943, schoolchildren never became familiar with their teachers. Certainly not in kindergarten …”

The Human Rights of Refugees
Julian Burnside

“It is not difficult to articulate the core elements of any human rights framework: we should acknowledge as inalienable rights those conditions that are generally regarded as indispensable for a decent human existence. Traditionally, human rights have not been seen to depend on, or arise from, membership of a particular society. They arise from the fact of being human …”

People With Disability: Turning Paper Rights Into Realities
Kelley Johnson

“In 2012, 4.2 million Australians (18.5% of the population) were estimated as having a disability.1 However, as Vik Finkelstein, an English self-advocate has commented, the rest of the population could be labelled as ‘not yet disabled’, for disability is something that can affect each of us at some point in our life course …”

The Independence of Human Rights Institutions
Gillian Triggs

“National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are seen as an integral part of the protection of human rights in the 21st century. These institutions play a remarkably unique role within human rights frameworks, both globally and within individual states. Yet the importance and effectiveness of NHRIs are closely linked to how independent they are from states, in both form and practice …”

Climate Change: It’s a ‘People’ Thing and it Discriminates
Kate Auty

“Much of our agricultural land is presently straining under the ‘worst drought in living memory’: 80% of Queensland is drought declared. This drought comes upon the heels of the Millennium Drought, the longest drought in the living memory of those who colonised this country …”

Human Rights and the Environment
Ian Lowe

“In this chapter, I will discuss the impacts of the environment on human health, consider the right to clean air and water, look at ways of making our cities healthier and finally discuss the impacts of global environmental issues on human rights …”

Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament
Gareth Evans

“There is no more fundamental human rights issue than a threat to life on this planet as we know it. There are only two such threats that international policy failure can make real. One is global warming, and the other is annihilation by the most destructive and indiscriminately inhumane weapons ever invented …”

Preventing Mass Atrocity Crime—Or Not: Libya, Syria and Central Africa
Spencer Zifcak

“In his recent, autobiography, the former Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan addressed, as he had many times before, the challenge of preventing mass atrocity crimes …”

How Humanity Can Be Found in the Midst of Conflict: Even Wars Have Laws
Phoebe Wynn-Pope and Pip Ross

“Just over 20 years ago, in a small ramshackle town called Goma on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, there was the most unimaginable human catastrophe. It was the concluding days of the war that saw over 800,000 men, women and children killed at the hands of the genocidaires …”

Killing Me Softly: Ending State-Sanctioned Killing
John Riordan

“Upon witnessing the last execution ever to take place in France, Judge Monique Mabelly was confronted with the horror of killing a lucid and healthy human being. At the end of her account, she describes the washing away of the blood as akin to concealing a crime …”