Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


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The Space Between The Laws: Life for Sri Lankans who seek Asylum in Australia

By Kirsty Anantharajah,

RegNet, ANU[1]

When liberties are taken away and when democratic institutions die, is it even worse than human beings dying? …when institutions die, people end up living as if they were dead.[2]

In 2014, a boat carrying 157 Sri Lankan asylum seekers who had been living in limbo in India was intercepted near the coast of Christmas Island, Australia. The asylum seekers were transferred to an Australian customs boat where they were detained at sea for a month. Continue Reading →


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The role of civil society in Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Review

By Kirsty Anantharajah

Centre for International Governance and Justice, RegNet, ANU

Sri Lankan civil war. Image: Andy Freifeld/Pinterest

Sri Lankan civil war. Image: Andy Freifeld/Pinterest

Sri Lanka’s game playing at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) during its first two reviews in 2008 and 2012 tested the ability of this human rights mechanism to achieve its aims and maintain the integrity of its principles, including objectivity and transparency. This post explores how the proactive participation of civil society pushed back against the rights ritualism displayed by the Sri Lankan state at the UPR.[i]

Continue Reading →