Childcare debts ground parents
Courier-Mail, Australia, by Nicolette Burke, October 13, 2005
ABOUT 500 parents have been prevented from leaving the country by the Child Support Agency.
The government agency has the power to direct the Australian Federal Police to stop people at the departure gate at Australian airports, if they have not paid their childcare maintenance bills.
Figures obtained by The Courier-Mail show that 482 parents were contacted by the agency in the last financial year, and ordered to pay their outstanding debts before travelling overseas. That was up from 100 cases the previous year.
The agency's international director David Mole said parents who persistently avoided their obligations were targeted under the airport crackdown.
"It's a fairly serious enforcement power we can use. We need to make sure there's a persistent failure to pay child support, and it's in the best interests of the child," he said.
Last year, the people stopped from travelling owed a total of $9 million in outstanding payments, an average of almost $19,000 each.
A third of this was recouped immediately, with the rest due to be paid over time.
Mr Mole said if people were travelling overseas for pleasure, there was no excuse for them to refuse to pay for the care of their children.
"Where people are demonstrating a pattern of overseas travel, they're demonstrating a capacity to pay," he said.
"We must vigilantly stand on guard within our own borders for human rights and fundamental freedoms which are our proud heritage......we cannot take for granted the continuance and maintenance of those rights and freedoms."
About The truth
"All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed, Second it is violently opposed. Third it is accepted as self-evident."
"In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect."
(William J. Clinton)
42nd President of The United States of America
national "Child Day"
Canada's "Child Day" is held on November 20th each year as designated by the Parliament of Canada in 1993.
It commemorates the United Nations adoption of two landmark documents concerned with the human rights of all children and youths. Read More ..
Canadian appointed U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights
Louise Arbour took up her duties on July 1, 2004 as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Her term in office ended in June 2008.
Mrs. Arbour was a member of the Supreme Court of Canada immediately preceding her appointment to the UN as Commissioner for Human Rights.
Law Times, Canada
22 September 2008
This profession - and all of us in it - have failed to protect, honour, and defend one of our most accomplished and distinguished members. We have let Louise Arbour down by our silence when she needed and deserved voices of support.
On July 1, Arbour stepped down as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, an enormously prestigious and important international position.
The gratitude and praise which greeted her at the end of her term was shamefully muted. Arbour was a courageous champion of human rights, and a bold critic of the erosion of those basic tenets in our world.
She was never timid. She was never chained to a desk, was involved, hands on, outspoken, and challenging. She breathed life into the enormous portfolio that she was asked to take on.