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SPOTLIGHT: AUSTRALIA'S REFUGEE PROBLEM

While Europe's migrant crisis has made headlines over the past year, another continent's treatment of refugees has received far less scrutiny — until now. In a joint report published yesterday, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch took the Australian government to task over what they describe as the "appalling abuse" and "neglect" of refugees.


An agreement between Australia and the South Pacific island of Nauru allows migrants to be detained on the tiny island nation before they reach Australia by boat. Nauru apparently charges foreign journalists more than $6,000 for a visa so global media coverage of the topic has been weak. Last month, however, researchers from the two rights groups managed to spend 12 days there and conducted scores of interviews.


The watchdogs report that refugees on the detention facility live in crowded and suffocating vinyl tents where temperatures can reach 50 °C (122 °F). The researchers note that refugees receive minimal health care and often face abuse from locals. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch accuse the Australian government of willfully ignoring, and even condoning, the miserable conditions in an effort to deter other refugees from trying to reach the country.


Migration is a defining issue of our time and investigating stories about refugees in depth from across the world should be a key area of media coverage.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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