Monthly Archives: January 2015

Australia launches scheme to tackle domestic violence

Abused woman, stock photo

The new scheme will include a public awareness campaign to tackle domestic violence

Australia plans to set up a national scheme to address family violence and violence against women.

The aim is to establish uniform guidelines for prosecuting domestic violence cases across all states.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has urged the Council of Australian Governments, the peak inter-governmental forum, to reach agreement on a plan this year.

One Australian woman dies every week as a result of domestic violence, according to government statistics.

Mr Abbott’s announcement comes three days after a campaigner against domestic violence, Rosie Batty, was named Australian of the Year.

Ms Batty’s son Luke was killed in public by his father last February while playing cricket.

After her son’s death, Ms Batty emerged as an articulate and powerful advocate for the rights of women and children living in violent relationships, giving new force to efforts to prevent family violence across Australia.

Activists say Ms Batty’s ability to explain why so many women struggle to protect their children from violent partners helped make family violence a key campaign issue for all political parties in last November’s Victoria state election.

‘Terrible things’

Mr Abbott said at a press conference on Wednesday that Ms Batty’s advocacy had played a role in his decision to establish the national scheme. He said she was advising the government on how to make it easier for women to get help from the authorities.

He added that he did not want Ms Batty’s Australian of the Year award to be just symbolic. Rather, he said, she wanted “us to act as a nation to make a difference to reduce the scourge of domestic violence”.

Rosie BattyRosie Batty won Australian of the Year for her work as a campaigner against domestic violence

He said a national scheme would mean a domestic violence court order against an alleged perpetrator in one jurisdiction would hold in another. The violence should not be allowed to follow women from state to state, he said.

“I am a father of three daughters, and the brother of three sisters,” he said. “The last thing I want to see is violence against women and children.”

Mr Abbott said one of the issues that would be addressed was greater co-ordination between police, social services and mental health bodies.

The government would also consider launching a public awareness campaign similar to those launched to address illegal drink driving.

“If you are a repeat drink driver, you really have the book thrown at you,” said Mr Abbott. “But if you breach a domestic violence order, often there are hardly any consequences.”

“I tell you just because terrible things are happening behind closed doors doesn’t mean they are not terrible things.”



Happy Australian Day

Today, Australians celebrate their national day. They celebrate what Australia means to them: their freedom, their tolerance and their multiculturalism.
SONY DSCFor Meti and Jitu who arrived Australian with their family in 2009 because of political persecution, however, the Australian Day means #peace, #freedom, #dignity, and after all #choice in which they vow to honour the day with great contribution.
Happy Australia Day

Dr Martin Hill will be remembered for his ardent support to human rights in the Horn of Africa

Press Releases, 19 January 2015

Re: Great Loss to the Human Rights Community as Legendary Dr. Martin Hill Passes On

Dr Martin Hill

Dr Martin Hill

We are deeply saddened to hear the death of Dr Martin Hill, and we want to express our sincerest condolence to his wife and his family on behalf of the Advocacy for Oromia Association in Victoria Australia. Dr Martin was a long time friend and voice for the voiceless oppressed peoples of the world including the Oromo, and we greatly benefit from his support. Dr. Martin Hill passed away on Friday 9 January 2015.

Dr. Hill’s legacy at the Amnesty Secretariat office in London, as a researcher and a campaigner on the Horn of Africa in the human rights field for over 32 years, has many aspects. At sub-regional level where many human rights violations and suffering for the past three decades and lack of attention globally, Dr. Hill brought human rights issues and concerns in the limelight and earned the admiration and love of many people particularly Oromians, Eritreans, Ethiopians, and Somalis.

Dr. Hill worked with many voiceless people and individuals on the protection and promotion of human rights. Many of our friends particularly remember the first human rights defenders training for Somalis that Dr. Hill organized in 1997 in Kenya. He was instrumental in organizing sub-regional networks consultation meetings to the run up of the All Africa Human Rights Defenders Conference I 1998 and subsequently the global human rights summit in Paris in December 1998.

Dr. Hill will be remembered for his ardent support to human rights in the Horn of Africa. He inspired and mentored so many human rights activists who are now working with prominent human rights organizations around the world. He contributed to the fight against human rights violations and ending the culture of impunity in the sub-region.

Our thoughts are with his family and many friends around the world. The Advocacy for Oromia, a non-profit advocacy organisation working to ensure that the Oromo people’s rights and wishes are respected, extends its sincerest condolences to his wife, Dawn Hill and children. Dr Hill was a remarkable man, who made a difference in the lives of many voiceless people through his researching and campaigning activities on the Horn of Africa in the human rights field for over 32 years.

For more information: Advocacy for Oromia Oromia Press Release Dr Martin Hill
Advocacy for Oromia
19 January 2015

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