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Palm Sunday March for Refugees

On Palm Sunday (April 13th 2014), CRI joined approximately 10,000 other people at the March for Refugees in Melbourne. Board Members Chas Alexander, Frank Meredith and Garry Warne were joined by a number of CRI members. As powerfully articulated by key speakers, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young of the Australian Greens and the Reverend Alistair McRae of the Uniting Church, the policy that CRI strongly supports is that all Australian refugee detention camps should be closed immediately and the detainees released, with support, into the Australian community while their applications for asylum are being processed. CRI is especially concerned for the future of the 1100+ children who are in Australian detention centres. Under Australia’s “protection”, they are locked up in closed communities where many people, out of despair and anger, are behaving violently towards themselves and others and where the risk of death and disease is high. CRI will campaign on behalf of children in detention to ensure that their human rights to freedom, education, normal family life, health care and self-determination are respected. CRI deplores the current mandatory offshore detention policy of both major parties. Change is urgently needed.

 

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind? : The Plight of Detained Children Under Australia's Offshore Mandatory Detention Policy

In his welcome to readers of CRI's website its Chairman, Alastair Nicholson, acknowledged the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as being the most widely ratified treaty in human history, while also noting that the basic rights of children and youth are still not universally recognised and that they suffer violence, abuse, exploitation and discrimination in increasing numbers every day.

As CRI's mission is to promote, protect and advance the human rights of children, primarily in developing countries, and to promote understanding of, adherence to and effective implementation of the CRC it is important that the organization takes a stand on the increasing evidence showing Australia's failure to protect the rights, physical and mental welfare and safety of young asylum seekers, particularly those who have been transferred to offshore detention centres.

Unfortunately, despite Australia being one of the earliest countries to ratify the CRC, its treatment of children and young people has too often failed to comply with the Convention's principles and requirements. Most recently this has been highlighted by the manner in which young asylum seekers, (whether accompanied by family members or unaccompanied), are treated, both in Australia and in the offshore detention centres to which such children have been sent.

See:

Presentation - Professor Louise Newman AM, Monash University, Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psycology

Read more: Out of Sight, Out of Mind? : The Plight of Detained Children Under Australia's Offshore Mandatory...

A visit to Herat Afghanistan

By Bill Jackson

Afghanistan is described as the most dangerous country in the world and there are good reasons for this. War has been the constant companion of its people for three decades and the situation is unlikely to improve once the Western powers withdraw, as they are likely to start doing as early as next year. As I write the Taliban, and various tribal warlords who wield considerable power, are resurgent and struggling for authority. Their previous treatment of women and children gives no cause for optimism.

Click the link to view Voice of Women Afghanistan Video Voice of Women Afghanistan Video See https://vimeo.com/60319802

Read more: A visit to Herat Afghanistan

CRI's Man in Phnom Penh

Touch Chiva (LAC), Denzil Sprague (CRI), Kimleng Ouk (LAC), Frank Meredith (CRI), Bill Jackson (CRI), Run Saray (LAC) and Op Vibol (LAC) at the opening of CRI's new Cambodian office.

Touch Chiva (LAC), Denzil Sprague (CRI), Kimleng 
Ouk (LAC), Frank Meredith (CRI), Bill Jackson (CRI), 
Run Saray (LAC) and Op Vibol (LAC) at the opening of 
CRI's new Cambodian office.

By Margaret Harrison, CRI Board Member

CRI now has a country representative in Phnom Penh to assist us in a voluntary capacity with the many and varied administrative tasks associated with the conduct of our Cambodian juvenile justice project. Denzil Sprague is an Australian business man and long term resident of Phnom Penh, whose interest in the education and welfare of young Cambodians has already benefitted many primary school children in the district of Pouk Ressey and who has become an invaluable part of the CRI team, as a liaison person in our dealings with banks and other non governmentand government organizations in Cambodia.  He is a former farmer, pilot, arts/law graduate and brick factory proprietor, who in the past 4 years has assumed responsibility for the building of a school and the welfare and educational advancement of its 800 students. Many more young Cambodians have already completed their primary schooling as a result of his endeavours.

Read more: CRI's Man in Phnom Penh
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