This week a family member was spammed by a long text message making alarmist, fraudulent claims about the implications of a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Misinformation and disinformation are rife across many areas, and not enough is being done to protect communities, especially those who may be most susceptible.
The column this week links to resources for addressing misinformation about vaccines, as well as new resources for tackling racism and ageism. Meanwhile, the UK Government is under fire for breaching the country’s obligations under international human rights and refugee law.
Scroll to the end for news of upcoming events, jobs on offer, awards and other opportunities.
Ageism – particularly against older adults – is so deeply ingrained in our societal norms and values that it can be difficult to recognise within ourselves and our surroundings. For example, ageist language is often hidden behind humour and good intentions, and used without any intent or awareness of implicit bias against older adults.”
The Australian Electorial Commission has published the Yes and No cases for a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
It has also published a disinformation awareness factsheet noting that although the AEC is responsible for issuing the referendum pamphlet, which will contain information from the official Yes and No campaigns, the Commission does not have a role in regulating the truth in these communications.
Amid concerns about the pervasiveness of misinformation and disinformation, campaigners are working hard to connect with communities.
Read the article about the no campaignRead the article about the Barang Regional Alliance. Read the article at IndigenousX Read the article about the First People Disability Network launching the ‘Have Your Say’ campaign to help people with disability understand exactly what the Voice is, provide accessible impartial information.
The United Nations Refugee Agency has called on the UK Government to reverse its Illegal Migration Bill, which “is at variance with the country’s obligations under international human rights and refugee law and will have profound consequences for people in need of international protection”.
The Bill extinguishes access to asylum in the UK for anyone who arrives irregularly, having passed through a country – however briefly – where they did not face persecution. It bars them from presenting refugee protection or other human rights claims, no matter how compelling their circumstances. In addition, it requires their removal to another country, with no guarantee that they will necessarily be able to access protection there. It creates sweeping new detention powers, with limited judicial oversight.
The Bill denies access to protection in the UK for anyone falling within its scope – including unaccompanied and separated children – regardless of whether they are at risk of persecution, may have suffered human rights violations or whether they are survivors of human trafficking or modern-day slavery and may have other well-founded claims under international human rights and humanitarian law.
Some pithy comments below, following the Victorian Government’s announcement it will not proceed with the Commonwealth Games.
Links to resources for tackling ageism, racism and misinformation.
The report says:
Ageism – particularly against older adults – is so deeply ingrained in our societal norms and values that it can be difficult to recognise within ourselves and our surroundings. For example, ageist language is often hidden behind humour and good intentions, and used without any intent or awareness of implicit bias against older adults.
Ageism can have serious consequences for older people’s health and wellbeing.
Examples of specific changes that occurred as a result of the workshop, included:
- Avoiding making assumptions about people based on age
- Changing the language they use – for example, not using elderspeak, not making unnecessary references to someone’s age
- Being more collaborative in their interactions with older clients
- Respecting clients’ autonomy and independence
- Seeing and treating each older person as an individual, focusing on people’s capabilities, rather than their limitations.
Communicating the scientific consensus that vaccines are safe and effective, and using humour to dispel vaccine myths, may tackle misinformation effectively. Scare tactics, and failing to acknowledge uncertainty, could be unhelpful. These and other findings come from a review of 34 studies, published earlier this year, into communication strategies to tackle untruths about vaccines.
Events, jobs, awards, opportunities
See previous editions of ICYMI