2003

Letter to Minister for Justice re package of measures to combat Trafficking in Women (October 2003).  Click here to download letter

Submission to the Inquiry of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Australian Crime Commission into Trafficking in Women for Sexual Services (September 2003).  Recommendations:

That Australia ratify the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and that it conform to that protocol in acting on the following recommendation;

That legislation be developed to specifically address trafficking as a crime. That this include legal definition of the crime and appropriate penalties for those convicted thereof, and that it include legal provisions for the treatment of the women involved that treat them as primarily victims in need of protection, not as themselves offenders. (see below for specifics);

That such legislation include protection for women who have consented to prostitution but have been deceived or uninformed as to the conditions under which it will be undertaken;

That such legislation be developed in consultation with community groups and NGOs with special interest and experience in problems relating to the exploitation of women and girls and various forms of violence directed against them;

That such legislation be developed in consultation with the States, so that uniform conditions apply and effective co-operation is facilitated between the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Federal Police and the law enforcement bodies of the States and Territories;

That the government establish a dedicated unit within the Australian Federal Police with sufficient staff and resources for intelligence gathering and sharing. The unit to set up a database in order to determine the extent and manner of trafficking within Australia and to enable the unit to liaise and interact with other international, national, state and territory bodies.

That the protection offered to women and girls discovered to have been trafficked into Australia for sexual servitude include:
• alternative arrangements to detention in Villawood or Maribyrnong in cases where those identifiable as possible victims of trafficking are detained by DIMA;
• visa arrangements that (a) allow such women a period in which to recover from the physical and psychological trauma associated with sexual servitude and to decide whether they wish to provide the authorities with information which may lead to legal proceedings against other persons; and (b) allow such women to remain in Australia if they give information to the police or testify in subsequent legal proceedings, without such a visa being conditional on the success of any prosecution involved;
• that appropriate services (accommodation, counseling, income support) be provided to women identified as victims of trafficking.

That Australia accept a degree of responsibility to ensure the well-being of trafficked women who are returned to their country of origin, and that bi-lateral and multi-lateral initiatives are set up to ensure that these women are linked to support agencies in such countries.  Click here to download submission

Submission to the Senate Inquiry into Higher Education Funding and Regulatory Legislation (August 2003).  Summary of Submission:

  1. The funding proposals inadequately address the needs of universities across the sector to ensure quality teaching, learning and research environments adequately staffed and serviced.
  2. The funding proposals inadequately address the needs of students for equitable and affordable access.
  3. The funding proposals inadequately address the life-long learning needs of the Australian community.
  4. AFUW believes that public funding of the university sector could be made more adequate if the will of the government matched the priorities expressed by very large majority of respondents to the recent Age Poll who expressed their readiness to forego tax cuts in exchange for better funding of health and education.  Click here to download submission

Letter (July 2003) to Minister for Education conveying Resolution from AFUW Triennial Conference on the exclusion of education from any GATS agreement:  The 32nd conference of AFUW opposes the inclusion of educational services in any General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS) entered into by Australia on the grounds that:

(i) inclusion would remove from Australia’s control the content and the quality of the national education system which is a crucial element in the maintenance of Australia’s cultural identity and its social and economic wellbeing; and
(ii) inclusion could require Australian governments to abandon the longstanding principle that their primary responsibility in education is to support a public system accessible to all. Click here to download letter

Letter to the Prime Minister (copies to Minister and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs) re the Role of Women in determining a lasting peace in the Solomon Islands  (July 2003).  Click here to download letter

Fax to Minister of Immigration urging him to act in accordance with Family Court ruling on illegality of keeping child asylum seekers in detention (June 2003).  Click here to download Fax

Letter to Attorney-General opposing proposed legislative changes to the Powers and Composition of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (May 2003).  Click here to download letter

Letter to the Minister assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women conveying AFUW Triennial Conference Resolution on Maternity Leave (May 2003)  The 32nd Conference of AFUW:

(a) affirms the need for employees to have access to paid parenting leave and flexible employment options to ensure that they can exercise their right to choose to combine paid work and parenting;
(b) urges the Federal Government to adopt the findings and recommendations of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s report “A Time to Value – Proposal for a National Paid Maternity Leave Scheme”; and
(c) resolves to promote the HREOC report and its recommendations on paid maternity leave. Click here to download letter

Letter to the Minister for Foreign Affairs conveying AFUW Triennial Conference Resolution on Foreign Aid: The 32nd Conference of AFUW urges the Federal Government to increase the amount of aid given to developing countries to the target set by the United Nations of 0.7% of gross domestic product, such aid to be substantially directed to programs to benefit women and children (May 2003).  Click here to download letter

Letter to Minister for Foreign Affairs re the situation of women in post-war Iraq. Copy to Shadow Minister (April 2003).  Click here to download letter

Letter to Minister for Education, Science and Training requesting funding to publish the results of research undertaken by AFUW nationally and through its State and Territory Associations on Support for Indigenous Education (April 2003). Click here to download letter and text of Application

Letter to Prime Minister drawing attention to League of European Women’s Declaration of Opposition to the Invasion of Iraq and calling on him to reconsider Australia’s commitment to armed intervention against Iraq. Copy to Leader of the Opposition. (February 2003).  Click here to download letter