All posts by Jon Atkins

Sexual slavery victims to be remembered

Statue honouring ‘comfort women’, Uniting Church in Ashfield

The 7th International Memorial Day for Japanese Military Sexual Slavery Victims will be commemorated on Wednesday August 14th. The event will also coincide with the 1400th time that regular Wednesday rallies have been held in Seoul that have called for a resolution of the Japanese military sexual slavery issue.

It is estimated that 200,000 girls and young women were forced into sexual slavery in colonial times and during WW2 by the Imperial Japanese Army. Countries where this systematic sexual abuse took place included Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaya, Manchukuo, Taiwan (then a Japanese dependency), the Dutch East Indies, Portuguese Timor, New Guinea and other Japanese-occupied territories. Continue reading Sexual slavery victims to be remembered

Ridding the world of nuclear weapons

The date July 7 marks two years since the historic adoption of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW or the treaty). To celebrate the occasion, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has launched a new resource entitled Campaigner’s Guide to Signature and Ratification of the TPNW.

ICAN was a major influence behind the negotiation of the TPNW and was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its endeavours. The treaty is wide ranging and aims to prohibit the use or the threat of use of nuclear weapons along with their development; production and testing; acquisition, possession and stockpiling; transfer; and stationing and deployment. Continue reading Ridding the world of nuclear weapons

Open Letter on Venezuela

Recent pro government rally in Caracus. Photo by Prensa CRBZ

In response to the US led campaign to further destabilise Venezuela, an Open Letter was issued on Thursday, January 24, 2019. It has been signed by 70 scholars on Latin America, political science, and history as well as filmmakers, civil society leaders, and other experts.

The Open Letter notes that under the Trump administration, aggressive rhetoric against the Venezuelan government has increased with Trump administration officials talking of “military action” and condemning Venezuela, along with Cuba and Nicaragua, as part of a “troika of tyranny.” Continue reading Open Letter on Venezuela

Global Day of Action on Military Spending in Sydney – Sat. 21 April 2018

The Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) takes place every year in mid-April. This day of action was originally proposed by the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) with the primary goal of promoting a general awareness of the vast amounts of public money spent on the military.

Groups around the world who support GDAMS are calling for a major shift in budget priorities so that human development programs can be adequately funded. Continue reading Global Day of Action on Military Spending in Sydney – Sat. 21 April 2018

Palestinian children still victims of Israeli abuse

The arrest, detention and mistreatment of Palestinian minors by Israeli authorities has been well documented by international agencies such as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).1

It is reported that approximately 500-700 Palestinian children are arrested and prosecuted in the Israeli Military Court System every year.

Exasperated by this ongoing violation of human rights by Israeli authorities, MPG’s ‘ambassador’ in Tasmania, Jo Errey, decided to raise her concerns with her local member, Andrew Wilkie MP. Continue reading Palestinian children still victims of Israeli abuse

ICAN wins 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has been awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

In an announcement on October 6, 2017, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said that ICAN had won the award “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition on such weapons.”1 Continue reading ICAN wins 2017 Nobel Peace Prize