ACL in the news

The question of faith

Chelsea Pietsch - The Australian

Should faith-based organisations and schools be able to preference staff members who share their religious beliefs and values? While it hasn’t had a lot of media attention, this is a key issue at next month’s Victorian election. Let me answer the question with reference to my own experience.

Ron Williams versus the school chaplains

Madonna King - SMH

Ron Williams has had two High Court wins against the school chaplaincy program, yet the Abbott government is pressing on, writes Madonna King.

Children & Family

Kindy crisis: Over 400 children aged four to six suspended in past year as unruly behaviour soars to its highest level

Alicia Wood & Sarah Crawford - The Daily Telegraph

A crisis is emerging in our kindergartens with the number of four to six-year-olds sent home for unruly behaviour soaring to its highest level. Last year, more than 400 kindy kids were suspended, up from 356 the year before and 345 in 2010. Principals and child psychologists have blamed instability at home, poor parenting and mental illness for the dramatic increase.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Surrogacy and citizenship

Xavier Symons - BioEdge

The US Department of Homeland Security may have opened the door for American surrogate mothers to ‘sell’ citizenship to parents from foreign countries.

Drugs & Alcohol

Portugal decriminalised drugs. Results? Use by teens doubled in a decade with nearly a fifth of 15 and 16-year-olds using drugs

Steve Doughty - Daily Mail

The nation held up by the Liberal Democrats yesterday as a shining example of how to win the war on drugs is far from the unqualified success story they make out.

Organised crime: Money laundering is a multi-billion dollar business in Australia

Lia Harris - The Daily Telegraph

Inside a trendy eastern suburbs pad, a young Greek tourist is taking in the sights just metres from the beach, with more than half a million dollars cash in his hands.


Students contacting Legal Aid over cyber bullying charges

Kirsty Needham - SMH

The pervasiveness of smart phone use among students means many school yard behaviours are being classified as a criminal act.


Sportsbet targets young women with racing-themed beauty `inducement'

Aisha Dow - The Age

An online sport betting company is attempting to lure women punters with a beauty goodie box containing fake tan and nail polish. New customers who sign up to Sportsbet via the promotion, and make a bet of at least $5 will receive a gift pack with cosmetics products valued at $90.

Online gambling becoming too easy via mobile phones and tablets

Tracey Prisk - Central Western Daily

The prevalence of mobile phones and tablets are making it increasingly easy for young people to develop a gambling problem says Lifeline Central West CEO Alex Ferguson.

Homelessness & Poverty

No shame in homelessness other than in being able to help but choosing no to

Kylie Lang - Sunday Mail

To diners in McDonald’s that morning, she looked like any other private schoolgirl – hair tied back, socks pulled up, shoes a little scuffed. But this Year 11 student was hiding an awful truth. She was homeless. The bathroom in this fast food joint was where she washed, brushed her teeth and got ready for the day.


Rising drug use noted by Indigenous leaders

Andrea Davy - Daily Mercury

A rise in drug use was one of the key issues raised when indigenous leaders met in Mackay. Mayors and leaders of Queensland's indigenous and Torres Straight Islander communities fleshed out their concerns with Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart over morning tea yesterday.


No silver lining in Denis Napthine election cloud: Newspoll

John Ferguson - The Australian

The Victorian Coalition is marching towards an embarrassing defeat on November 29 unless it can exploit at the 11th hour voter uncertainty about the leadership of Labor’s Daniel Andrews.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Sex industry in New Zealand facing slowdown: Depleting market of paid sex worries the trade

Kalyan Kumar - International Business Times

New Zealand's sex industry is not in an exciting phase. Despite legalising prostitution, the sex workers are not having a windfall in business and there is a perceived "slow down" as in many other industries. It is almost 11 years, since prostitution was made a legitimate profession in the country.

'Treated like cattle': Yazidi women sold, raped, enslaved by ISIS

Ivan Watson - CNN

Young Yazidi woman says ISIS jihadis kidnapped her and other women, and raped them. Yazidi women treated like cattle, says one adviser to Kurdistan government on gender. ISIS has kidnapped more than 2,500 Yazidi women, according to research by his team.

Families shocked as Boko Haram says kidnapped girls wed


Families of the 219 schoolgirls held for more than six months by Boko Haram militants say they are shocked but not surprised at fresh claims that the teenagers had been married off.


Australia should resume processing refugees in their own countries

Claire Higgins - The Age

It is hard to imagine Australia's refugee policy was ever brave, principled and an example to the world of our commitment to human rights. But there was a time when Department of Immigration officials went into countries to process would-be refugees before they had to flee, and resettled them in Australia.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

ISIS snuffs out ancient Christianity

Raymond Ibrahim - Gatestone Institute

During the Islamic State's June invasion and consolidation of Mosul, Iraq -- where Christians have been present since the first century -- countless atrocities against them were committed. Accordingly, the region is now reportedly empty of Christian presence.

Open season on the world’s Christians

Michael Coren - National Post

I have tried to discuss, among numerous and various other issues, the international persecution of Christians, especially within Islam; I do this because, tragically and regrettably, because so few other broadcasters and journalists are prepared to devote sufficient time to this acutely pertinent and important subject.

Sexualisation of Society

Activist speaks out about mock twitter account, rape, death threats and police inaction

Caitlin Roper - Melinda Tankard Reist blog

Earlier this year, Germaine Greer argued that women now are worse off than ever, citing the proliferation of pornography and the level of harassment and abuse directed toward women on social media as evidence. I tend to agree.


Constitutionally Australia is a religious country

Kevin Donnelly - Eureka Street

What is the place of religion, especially Christianity, in a supposedly secular society? Courier Mail opinion writer Margaret Wenham argues that Australia should follow the French Government’s example in banning religion from the public square.

What happens when the gay rights movement influences laws

Steven W Mosher - Aleteia

The movement to normalize homosexuality has seen one more institution, the U.S. Supreme Court, cave before it. On October 7, the Court refused to uphold the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, allowing lower court rulings overturning democratically enacted gay “marriage” bans in five states to stand.