In looking at the year that was in 2016, we have a long way to go in relation to curbing the prevalence of gender based violence globally, regionally, as well as in the hearts and homes of Australians.
My team and I left for Cambodia on a Wednesday evening – we flew out together on the Red-eye – to maximise the time we spent on the ground.
Our first stop was Phnom Penh – the capital.
Here, we had a few days to complete our curriculum prep – before we headed up to rural remote Stung Trong – three and a half hours north of the Capital by bus.
This is not an area where tourists would naturally flock to – in fact, for the country with the most NGO’s in the world, I only saw a few international English schools based there.
Across the Country, UN Women have organised fantastic lunches, dinners and functions we hope you can be a part of.
These annual functions are a great reminder of how far we have come in relation to the fight for women’s rights. But there is still plenty of work to do. This International Women’s Day, Fighting for Justice Foundation is calling for men to take a stand against the exploitation of women and girls in the sex industry by participating in our “Prostitution, I don’t buy it” men-led campaign.
At the end of last year, the Turnbull government announced the trial of a self- regulatory tool to classify films and television series. This Australian innovation is a world first, and while it seems tech savvy and a time saver, there are inevitable dangers, particularly in the lack of protection for children gaining access to harmful material.
This self –regulating system involves a broad range of classifications, which can then be reviewed by the Classification Board.
My family and I escaped a Communist Dictatorship in the late 1980’s.
This has very much shaped who I am today, and what I do.
I saw first hand a people group denied any personal rights under the political philosophy of Communism – which had grave economic, social, psychological and human right implications for the individual and for families.
Ultimately, the fall of Communism occurred in my country of birth through a revolution of the people uprising and assassinating their own Dictator.
I have a deep empathy and compassion therefore for the remaining people groups around the world living under cruel dictatorship regimes.
The Senate Inquiry:
On 2 December 2015, the Senate referred the inquiry into harm being done to Australian children through access to pornography on the Internet to the Committee, consisting of:
- Senator Larissa Waters, Chair;
- Senator David Bushby, Deputy Chair;
- Senator Anthony Chisholm;
- Senator Sam Dastyari;
- Senator Jonathan Duniam; and
- Senator Anne Urquhart.
The harm being done to Australian children through access to pornography on the Internet Inquiry included looking into trends in children’s consumption of pornography, the impact of this on the development of health and respectful relationships, harm minimisation methods used in other jurisdictions and possible measures to be implemented in Australia.
Fighting for Justice Foundation made a submission to this inquiry.Read more
Conflict makes people especially vulnerable to human trafficking, exploitation and enslavement by groups like Da’esh/ISIL, and Boko Haram. Armed groups including ISIL and Boko Haram are openly reviving slavery and organising slave markets, using social media platforms to both groom victims and to auction them off.
It was recently reported that Daesh kidnaps women and children to sell as sex slaves on social media – more than 7,000 young women and children have been kidnapped from their homes and sold into slavery in a chilling new money making operation by Islamic State leaders.Read more
I had the opportunity to recently meet Michel Forst, who is an honorary independent expert to the Human Rights Council and General Assembly of the United Nations. He was recently in Australia as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.
His visit took him to Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Brisbane and to Canberra twice – which is where I met him.Read more