Michael Curtotti

Equal Pay for Equal Work

  Everyone, without discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 23(4) This idea is hard to argue with.  It appeals to our sense of fairness. It appears in the  Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in other human rights treaties, as well as in international labour conventions.  Its…

The borders of virtue and power

Closing borders: to refugees, to undocumented migrants, raises questions of virtue and questions of power. The public debate around borders is so fractured, so superficial, so bedevilled with assumption and ritual conflict that it conveys little new meaning.  It simply reiterates the existence of a continuing contest – a contest that often is more about power than rights. In this contest…

Would you have me argue that all human beings are equal?

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was a remarkable worker for human rights.  Although he lived more than a century ago, his thoughts remain pressingly relevant. He began life as a slave, but winning his own freedom, he fought not only for abolition of slavery but also gave his support to other human rights causes, such as the emancipation of…

It’s [not] a free planet

“It’s a free country.” In an age of anxiety you don’t hear people say it so much.  And you certainly won’t hear anyone say “It’s a free planet”.  For some people it’s getting less free all the time. The retreat in planetary freedom is measured in the rise of terms such as “border security” and the real and…

Las Fronteras de la Ciencia

Esperanza de Vida

Seguramente algo como una verdad universal como la ciencia no puede tener fronteras? No en la era de Internet. Al igual que los refugiados que se enfrentan a enormes desafíos en entrar en la Fortaleza Europa, es increíblemente difícil obtener los beneficios de la ciencia a los pobres en los países en desarrollo. El caso…

Migrant Rights? Not our problem …

migrant rights are human rights protest

Despite being urged to do so, Australia will not ratify the Migrant Workers Convention: one of the major human rights treaties of the world.  The Australian Human Rights Commission and countries taking part in a review of Australia’s human rights performance under the UN universal periodic review, urged Australia to consider ratifying the International Convention on the Protection…

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Australia

As, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, today acknowledged there are a lot of human rights positives for Australia, but there were two issues on which Australia’s record is troubled: Australia’s treatment of indigenous Australians and asylum seekers. “In my discussions with Aboriginal people, I could sense the deep hurt and pain that they…