Category: GENERAL ISSUES

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KEEPING CITIZENSHIP JUST OUT OF REACH

Female, non-white or disabled? Then you can forget becoming a British citizen – a new bill gives you little chance… If you’re a migrant and you happen also to be either female, not white or disabled, then the government’s message in its new citizenship bill is simply; you need not apply. Due for a second reading in the House of Commons today, the borders, citizenship and immigration bill sets out just who the UK will in future regard as British citizens enjoying full rights of membership, including the right of abode, unrestricted access to the labour market/welfare state and the...

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THREE CHEERS FOR NEW EQUALITY BILL

Three cheers for a Bill of rights for the old, gay, disabled, female and taken-for-granted… We have seen times and the law change attitudes. The new Equality Bill is the next step Some people just don’t get it, do they? They fulminate against a new and elaborate government Bill, almost as a knee-jerk reaction. They rage against proposals that, in the calm light of day, taken one by one, they would endorse. They use short-sighted criticism as a means to offload all the bile swilling around the other issues of government – fiscal and monetary, business and investment. Yes, there...

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APPARENTLY, I’M NOT BRITISH

According to the Daily Mail, even second- and third-generation children born in the UK are not truly ‘British’ In another lifetime, a few years ago, when I used to run messageboards primarily populated by British Asians, we were occasionally invaded by National Front and BNP trolls. They told us to “go back to your own country”, and we retorted that we were born here and had as much right to call ourselves British as they did. Their retort almost inevitably was: “Just because a dog is born in a stable doesn’t make it a horse”. But who really takes lessons...

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HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 10 DECEMBER

60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights All human beings are born with equal and inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms On 10 December 1948 in Paris, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The Declaration was the first international recognition that all human beings have fundamental rights and freedoms and it continues to be a living and relevant document today. The UDHR is a living document that matters not only in times of conflict and in societies suffering repression, but also in addressing social injustice and achieving human dignity...

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INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY

SLAVERY REMAINS DESPITE YEAR OF SUCCESSES On the UN’s International Day for the Abolition of Slavery (Tuesday 2 December), it is important to be reminded that slavery remains a reality for a minimum of 12.3 million people across the world. However, despite the enormity of the problem, there have been successes this year in combating slavery. The highest profile success pays testimony to the bravery of a single woman. Hadijatou Mani, aged only 24, successfully sued Niger in October for failing to protect her from slavery. The decision by the regional ECOWAS court has the potential to impact on tens...

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WORLD AIDS DAY: BOLD LEADERSHIP NEEDED TO OVERCOME ‘DISEASE OF INEQUALITIES’

A deepening financial crisis emphasises the urgency of maintaining and strengthening the global response to HIV and AIDS, say AIDS activists from across civil society. “Bold and visionary leaders have to step forward”, says Allyson Leacock, chair of the World AIDS Campaign Global Steering Committee and executive director of the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS. “Rather than taking a seemingly ‘easy’ route of diverting resources, we need leadership that sees that relaxing our response to AIDS now will worsen the inequalities that fuel the spread of HIV leading to even more deaths and a far more expensive response in...