By Professor Sarah Joseph, Castan Centre Director
In this report, which is a first for the Castan Centre, you will find fresh perspectives on many important topics regularly featured in the news. These topics include asylum seekers, LGBTI rights, Indigenous rights and the federal government's hot-button issue of "freedom". Other academics featured here have written on areas that receive less attention, and often less sympathy. Prison overcrowding is a festering issue in Australia (and particularly Victoria), while conditions in other "closed environments" such as detention centres and "closed" mental health facilities also threaten people's basic human rights. Meanwhile, sporadic news coverage belies the continuing battle in this country over reproductive rights, terrorism laws and women's issues. And, internationally, debates rage over the role of corporations and aid agencies, particularly in the developing world.
We have decided to publish this report to improve the public's understanding of our world-renowned academic research. Each piece is written in plain English and designed to inform the public about human rights law and policy issues in key areas. There are no footnotes or case citations, although you will find a list of further reading for each article on the web version.
Although this report cannot hope to cover all of the pressing human rights issues here and around the globe, we hope that it will help to shed light on some of the important debates that the Centre's academics grapple with every day. I am sure that you will find it thought provoking.
The 2014 Castan Centre Human Rights Report articles
The "freedom" debate by Sarah Joseph
Human rights in need of aid by Adam McBeth
Corporations now less accountable by Joanna Kyriakakis
ASIO's human rights problem by Patrick Emerton
LGBTI rights around the world: A rollercoaster ride! by Paula Gerber
Asylum seekers punished more every year by Azadeh Dastyari
Europe: protecting asylum seekers' core rights by Maria O'Sullivan
Australia's growing prisons crisis by Bronwyn Naylor
Human rights in "closed environments" by Julie Debeljak, Bronwyn Naylor and Anita Mackay
Reproductive rights still under threat by Ronli Sifris
Gender-based violence: beyond the first 20 years by Heli Askola
Indigenous rights: hastening too slowly by Melissa Castan and Stephen Gray