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Vientiane refuses to host ASEAN meeting

VIENTIANE (AsiaNews): The 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) rotates the host nation for its annual meetings of the Civil Society Organisations and next year’s gathering was set to be held in Laos.

However, citing security risks and inadequate resources as reasons, Vientiane has decided it will not take its turn.

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Indonesia blocks media to gag Papuan voices

Jakarta (UCAN): Indonesia continues to restrict foreign media access to the Christian-majority provinces of Papua and West Papua, despite assurances from the president, Joko Widodo, that reporters would have unimpeded access to the region.

Human Rights Watch Asia deputy director, Phelim Kine, said that elements of the Indonesian government have failed to deliver on Widodo’s promise to open Papua to foreign reporters.

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Freedom of speech on same-sex marriage

HONG KONG (SE): In multi-cultural Sydney, Australia’s attorney general, George Brandis, told a Religious Roundtable on November 5 that there are inconsistent attitudes towards religious tolerance and freedom in the Land Down Under.

Speaking to a mixed interfaith group, the attorney general said, “Religious freedom is every bit as important as political freedom.”

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Human trafficking alert

HONG KONG (SE): The Philippine embassy in Beijing issued an advisory notice on November 1 warning Filipinos, especially migrant workers, to beware of people offering jobs in mainland China.

It especially warns against jobs in the domestic sector, as nannies or as private tutors in the mainland, pointing out that such employment is illegal and can lead to much trouble, and even prosecution by the authorities.

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Human rights

Nowadays, we are constantly reminded of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights as we hear, see and are touched by the many refugees who are seeking a new home in another country in order to be able to live where the declaration is respected.    

   

The Preamble

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Sri Lanka quizzes priest after talk with United Nations

COLOMBO (UCAN): Security personnel questioned Father Veerasan Yogeswaran, a Jesuit priest who runs the Centre for Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in northeastern Sri Lanka after meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, during the last week of August.

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ASEAN urged to rethink its rights charter

 

NEW YORK (UCAN) : A group working for the passage of a human rights charter for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) warned that flaws in the process are an embarrassment, as foreign ministers from the various countries that make up the block sat down to study the draft on September 27 during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

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Who are the scribes and Pharisees in the right of abode debate?

 

The recent judicial review for foreign domestic workers on their right of abode seems to have torn Hong Kong apart.

Newspaper columns make remarks, legislators express their views and groups rally, but the bulk of mainstream opinion has been against foreign domestic workers having the right to apply for abode.

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