Friday, November 26, 2010

Book of the week

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures
(Amnesty International UK section 2008)

Yep... just as the title suggests, it is a pictorial presentation of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
This is a Children's book which presents a 'Simplified Version' of Thirty Human Rights Articles, The book is full of great drawing paintings and various other forms of cool images produced by 22 esteemed illustrators and artists.

Human Rights are not complicated. They are basic... Fundamental expectations that we would hope could be applied to all people regardless of where they are from, regardless of ethnicity, religion etc... etc...

Having attended the Federal Government’s round table discussion on human rights last year I was dismayed to learn that the overwhelmingly supported recommendation for an Australian Bill of Rights has been completely sidestepped.

Here in the NT most people are acutely aware of the fact that the Federal Government suspended the Racial Discrimination Act in order to impose their “Northern Territory National Emergency Response” better known as “The Intervention”.

We have also witnessed the arbitrary axing of Bilingual Education for Indigenous children which, if the decision referred to any actual evidence at all, it was based on erroneous data and nonsense.

Article 26 (part of) ...Our parents have the right to choose how and what we learn...”

Of course if our country has such little regard for the rights of it’s own citizens it should be expected that we would have little concern for the welfare of Asylum seekers or refugees! For those unfortunate enough to have had to flee their own country they may find insult and contempt added to their list of injuries when seek refuge in this Country!

Although most asylum seekers will be granted refugee status and be allowed to stay once they have endured the interminable wait for processing. They’ll enjoy very few basic rights while they are waiting! Here in Darwin Children have been detained for months with very little opportunity or space for play. Although it had been intended for children under 16 to attend school, it has taken months for them to actually have the opportunity. Now we hear that children will be released from detention while awaiting acceptance, but they’ll likely be a year older before that happens... Apparently they may finally taste freedom in June next year!

Article 14 “If we are frightened of being badly treated in our own country, we all have the right to run away to another country to be safe”

A couple of months ago I drove by some Asylum seekers who'd jumped the razor wire fence of the detention center, just so they could stand by the road and hold signs begging for justice and compassion... They cried as drivers abused them for slowing the traffic and making them late for work... I heard that they were taken away soon after that... Who knows where they are now.

Additional Links related to this book

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