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Disparities in Vaccination Rates Leaves Communities at Risk

This week, millions of residents across New South Wales emerged from more than 100 days of lockdown after the Australian state met its target of full vaccination for 70 percent of its population over age 16. Across Sydney, people queued for haircuts…
People wait outside a Covid-19 vaccination clinic in the Bankstown suburb during a lockdown in Sydney, Australia, August 25, 2021.
News

Summit Meeting Key Opportunity to Address Vaccine Inequities

Leaders from the “Quad” countries – the United States, Japan, India, and Australia – will hold their first in-person summit in Washington, DC, on September 24, amid a global Covid-19 vaccine shortage crisis and deeply inequitable access to vaccines.…
Activists stand outside Pfizer Headquarters demanding US President Joe Biden support the "TRIPS Waiver" in New York, NY on April 22, 2021.
News

Waive TRIPS Amid Delta Outbreak, Vaccine Shortages

Right now, half of Australia’s population – more than 13 million people – are living under a hard lockdown after a growing outbreak of the Delta coronavirus strain that began in Sydney in June. The strict stay at home measures come amid a shortage in…
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, left, watches a pharmacist prepare a simulated vaccine at the Sydney local health district vaccination hub in Sydney, February 19, 2021.
News

Government Should Bolster Healthcare System; International Donors Need to Step Up

  Update: On March 17, 2021 the Australian government announced it will provide 8,000 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to PNG. Papua New Guinea is facing a surge in Covid-19 cases, with more confirmed cases in the first two weeks of March…
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News

Report Documents ‘Significant Disadvantage’ to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this piece contains the name and image of a deceased person. His name and image are used with the permission of the family.  On August 24, the Queensland Health Ombudsman found that…
Charlie Gowa (left), his mother Xernona PoiPoi, and brother Richard.
News

Failing Aged Care Facilities Risk Lives of Residents and Staff

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on people living in nursing facilities around the world, including in Australia. On August 10, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will hold a hearing on “lessons learnt” on Covid-…
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Government to Pay US$12 Million in Compensation for Smelter Pollution

In a victory for environmental health, last week, a Kenyan Court awarded $1.3 billion Ksh (USD12 million) to residents of Owino Uhuru, a suburb of Mombasa, for damages related to pollution from a nearby lead smelter that recycled lead-acid batteries.…
News

Journalists Assaulted, Threatened, Harassed

Kenyan media didn’t have much to celebrate on World Press Freedom Day. Kenyan police and senior state officials have continued to intimidate, threaten, and physically attack journalists reporting on sensitive issues, and authorities have done…
Ferry passengers flee from police firing tear gas, after new measures aimed at halting the spread of the new coronavirus instead caused a crowd to form outside the ferry in Mombasa, Kenya Friday, March 27, 2020.
News

Persistently Press Abusive Leaders to End Violations

Authoritarian-leaning countries in southeast Asia are using the Covid-19 pandemic as a pretext to further repress human rights, which the Australian government cannot afford to ignore. In Cambodia, a new state of emergency law will further…
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen gestures during a speech on the current state of a new virus from China in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.
News

Prisoners with Disabilities Face Particular Hardship

Locked in cramped cells with others, being an easy target for violence, and getting bullied for your food and medication – that’s daily life for a prisoner with a disability in Australia. And the Covid-19 pandemic is only making things worse.…
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News

Shortage of Health Care Workers and Medical Equipment

Even before the coronavirus, the fragile health system in Papua New Guinea (PNG) was underfunded and overwhelmed, with high rates of malaria, tuberculosis, and diabetes among its population of more than eight million. Access to hospitals is…
The flag of Papua New Guinea
News

Lockdown Measures Increase Risks for Women and Girls

For 4 days, Juliet M., a 16-year-old Kenyan, was held captive by a man and sexually assaulted. She was rescued by neighbors and is now being cared for in a safe house in Nairobi. The attacker reportedly said he kidnapped her because he needed…
Kenyans make their way home before the daily dusk-to-dawn curfew in Nairobi, Kenya, April 6, 2020.
News

Pandemic Threatens Refugee Camps, Densely Populated Urban Areas

What are your main concerns about the coronavirus moving through Africa? In many countries where we work there is an extremely weak public health and healthcare infrastructure. The fact that the spread in Africa has been slower than elsewhere…
A member of the Senegalese graffiti collective "RBS CREW" paints informational murals advising how to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, on the wall of a high school in the Parcelles Assainies neighborhood of Dakar, Senegal, March 25, 2020.
News

Release People to Mitigate Threat of COVID-19 Spread

In Australia, as people grumble about closed beaches and extended isolation at home due to the coronavirus, spare a thought for those in immigration detention. In recent weeks, I’ve received anxious messages from a 32-year-old Sri Lankan…
Refugees protest detention conditions in a Melbourne hotel, Australia, April, 2020.
News

Authorities Should Investigate Claims of Excessive Force, Abuse

Kenyan authorities have started enforcing a dusk to dawn curfew, just days after the country recorded its first corona-related death. The curfew was announced on March 25 for an unspecified period. Kenya has 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 but…
Kenyan police carrying batons and teargas patrol looking for people out after curfew in the Kibera slum, or informal settlement, of Nairobi, Kenya, March 29, 2020.
News

Proposed Reparations Bill Chance to Compensate Post-Election Rape Survivors

This weekend, I received the sad news that Chepkorir had died. Chepkorir, whose name I have changed to protect her privacy, was raped in December 2007. The men who raped her beat her badly and she had been struggling with poor health…
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New Commission Should Include Older People’s Voices and Experiences

The Australian government is taking an important step to investigate potential abuses against older people in care facilities and beyond. This week, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a Royal Commission to investigate…
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Prisoners with Disabilities Serving Time in Solitary, Face Physical, Sexual Abuse

How is it that 50 percent of Australia’s prison population has a disability? Eighteen percent of Australia’s general population has a disability. The most common type of disabilities found in prisons are mental health conditions. People with…
A prisoner lies in his solitary confinement cell in the safety unit at Lotus Glen Correctional Centre, northern Queensland.
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UN Pollution Meeting Should Embrace Child Rights in its Resolutions

Bhopal, Chernobyl, and Minamata – these environmental disasters shocked the world. Yet, pollution results not only from catastrophic accidents but also from years of silent exposure. Children’s developing bodies are particularly…
“My name is Amina and I am twenty years old. I grew up here in the town of Bagega. I had six children. Three have died. Each time one died, I was so distraught and I was very traumatized.” Amina, Bagega, Zamfara state, Nigeria, 2011.
News

More Protection, Support for Victims Needed

Human Rights Watch research confirms that, once again, there was sexual violence against women and girls during the most recent post-election violence in Kenya. I interviewed over 50 victims and witnesses in Mathare, Kisumu, Bungoma, and Dandora.…
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