A group of academics from Deakin University's School of Law today called on the Australian Senate to pass laws to allow marriage equality.
The submission noted that the realisation of the rights to non-discrimination and equality are fundamental to a free and democratic society. Conversely, discrimination and inequality result in social exclusion, poor health outcomes, entrenched poverty and disadvantage, violence and other negative outcomes.
Phil* became homeless after his partner died and his house was repossessed. He cycled through shelters and crisis accommodation, dangerous rooming houses, and the couches of friends and families.
After several months, Phil hit the jackpot and was accepted into transitional housing. As the name suggests, transitional housing is short- to medium-term housing to assist people transition from homelessness into long-term housing.
Phil was excited to move into the house. On the day he moved in, he was handed a lease, a set of keys and a 120-day eviction notice. ‘It’s just how we ensure that we can evict you when we need to,’ explained his housing worker.
There is a quickly developing sense that Burma, long an outcast in the international community, has begun a serious process of reform. It is as though the Burmese opposition, and the world behind it, are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, where a hostage comes to love the hostage taker following a small sign of kindness.
Burma’s human rights record over the past five decades has consistently been among the worst in the world. It is also one of the world’s biggest international drug suppliers.
To counter the damaging opprobrium this brings, the Burmese military-derived government has now released hundreds of political prisoners, signed a ceasefire with the country’s largest ethnic rebel group and has allowed the opposition National League for Democracy to re-form. The NLD has announced that it will challenge 23 of 48 vacant seats in by-elections to be held on 1 April.
The Federal Government’s White Paper on Homelessness, The Road Home: A National Approach to Reducing Homelessness (White Paper), proposed the introduction of new legislation that would “underpin the national response to homelessness, setting standards to deliver the best quality services possible”.
In June 2009, the Minister for Housing referred the inquiry into homelessness legislation to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family, Community, Housing and Youth (Committee). The Committee’s terms of reference were to inquire into and report on the content of homelessness legislation.
The movement of people from their countries of origin to another country seeking a more secure and better life is not a new phenomenon and is not likely to diminish any time soon.
The prevailing wisdom in migration scholarship and policy circles is that people move either in a voluntary or un-voluntary capacity. In other words, there are waves of migration driven by purely pull factors in the form of better living standards in economically more prosperous countries.
Forced migrants, on the other hand, are represented as those who usually leave their countries of origin because of push factors relating to insecurity, oppression, sometimes even environmental concerns.
But this distinction does not change the fact that migrants, either forced or voluntary, undergo similar challenges during the actual time of movement as well as when trying to adapt and settle in a new country.