Just a reminder: The Herald Sun is contemptible bullshit not worth the paper it is printed on

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Duncan Storrar the man who dared to ask a politician a question on national television has been faced with a targeted campaign by Murdoch media to tarnish his image and brand him a “villain” and is now on suicide watch as a result. Read More…

The War on Drugs: Colombia’s loss of sovereignty to the U.S.

The “War on Drugs” (WoD) is a prominent example of transnational crime (TNC) counter measures. This essay will focus on how the WoD has affected Colombia. I contend that the WoD and its TNC counter measures have had a deleterious effect on Colombia’s peasant class and international interests have undermined the self-determination of the Colombian people, leading to protracted conflicts against insurgents and drug lords instead of negotiated solutions.

I will do this by firstly defining my terms and the theory I will use to make my case. Secondly I will provide a brief legal history between Colombia and the US, outlining the key pieces of legislation which have been enacted between the two partner states. An analysis of these policies will follow with particular attention on the gains made by the US and its effects on Colombian self-determination. Read More…

Materialism & Migrant Friendships

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People tend to hang out with like-people. They spend their time and energy on relationships with people who have the same interests as themselves, maybe it is political belief, art or culture; for others it is their experience as a minority that brings them together.

Regardless, people form communities and find their home with people that share things in common.

For migrants, often our social cliques revolve around our first culture. It’s just easier you know? We eat the same foods, speak the same language and listen to the same music. Our communities become a refuge from the surrounding culture and maintain that little bit of home which is missing from our lives.

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Sex Work: Radical Feminism vs Liberal Feminism

Sex work and human trafficking are frequently conflated in international arenas and spaces in which global governance is produced(Almeida, 2011, p. 229; Baye & Heumann, p. 78; Limoncelli, 2009, p. 261; O’Brien, 2015, p. 191; Saunders, 2005, p. 344). This essay will investigate the strengths, weaknesses and alternatives to Amnesty International’s approach to sex work and in particular how debates around sex work affect spaces in which global governance is produced.

I will argue that while on an ideological level, Amnesty’s model does little to challenge the pervasive gendered super structure within which sex work is located, its focus on harm minimisation and the human rights of those involved is better than abolitionist alternatives.

I will do this by first explaining the theoretical debate between radical feminism/neo-abolitionism and liberal feminism/the human rights model and why this matters. Secondly I will show how the ideological infighting between feminists obscures the multidimensional nature of human trafficking and its effects on global governance. Thirdly I will make recommendations of alternatives to policy which Amnesty could lobby for states in order to minimise harm.

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Can mainstreaming challenge the liberal legacy in human rights?

Human rights as understood in global politics are a product of liberal political philosophy and thought[1]. They come with a philosophical pedigree that extends back to the enlightenment and further[2]. This pedigree however means they were constructed by a particular class of humans, namely Caucasian European men of reasonable wealth and education, and that people of different cultures, sexes and (dis)abilities were not part of this formational period. Thus human rights can be criticised for this legacy as privileging the experience of this class of humans over others, that is they protect humans from the types of violations that would be experienced by Caucasian men and ignore potential violations they are not exposed to because of their privileged position in society[3].

In this essay I will attempt to show how human rights are a malleable tool which can challenge this liberal legacy through the use of concerted efforts to ‘mainstream’ the experiences of other identities by handing over the application of rights to minorities in specific contexts. Read More…

The media turns a blind eye to new Victorian rape law

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Where is Australia’s “If you see something, say something.” campaign for sexual violence and domestic abuse?

**TRIGGER WARNING**
Rape & Sexual Assault

Comment by Saúl A. Zavarce

In the typical mad rush by state governments to pass as many laws as they can prior to election, Victoria is tying up loose ends, passing as many of the least problematic laws it can.

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Fractures in Victoria’s multiculturalism face cross party solidarity

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Ministers Matthew Guy and Telmo Languiller with members of the ICV and ECCV

Written by Saúl A. Zavarce

Victoria has never been more culturally diverse than it is now. At the 2011 census, 46.8% were either born overseas or had at least one parent who was.

We have a great tradition of celebrating this diversity. Just yesterday Tullamarine Airport celebrated Diwali, a major Hindu festival to commemorate the return of Lord Rama from his 14 years of exile, and next month the Johnston Street Festival, now in its 36th consecutive year, will celebrate Victoria’s Latin American community.

In one sense, we’re lucky to have such a vibrant community without populist politicians like Geert Wilders, who has made waves internationally and even here regarding his strong opposition to multiculturalism and Islam. Victoria however, as with any multicultural society still faces issues and challenges in promoting and fostering this diverse community.

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