Archive | March 2014

Be Cruelty-Free – join the campaign to ban cosmetic animal testing in Australia.

Be Cruelty-Free (BCF) Week

BCF Week in Australia was 10 – 16th March this year. BCF Week aims to raise awareness of the issue of cosmetics animal testing. The goal is to encourage consumers to shop cruelty-free and to voice their support for ending the practice of animal testing for cosmetics.

At this very moment in laboratories across the globe, animals are suffering in painful toxicity tests for cosmetics. Australia is supporting this cruel, outdated, and unnecessary practice by allowing the sale of animal-tested cosmetics to continue. An estimated 500,000 animals globally are used in cosmetics testing. In Australia, cosmetics animal testing is not explicitly required by law, but neither is it prohibited. Humane Research Australia (HRA), along with Humane Society International (HSI) and Choose Cruelty-Free (CCF), want to see legislation introduced to ensure that no rabbit, guinea pig or other animal is ever again subject to distressing cosmetics testing in Australia, as well as a sales ban on cosmetics animal-tested overseas.

Be Cruelty-Free Campaign

BCF Campaign is the leading global campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics once and for all. HRA and CCF have joined with HSI to call for a ban of cosmetic animal testing and the sale of all newly animal-tested cosmetics in Australia.

Many celebrities worldwide have joined forces to combat this issue, including Leona Lewis, Ricky Gervais, Spice Girl Melanie C, Sir Roger Moore and Dame Judi Dench. In Australia, HRA’s campaign has the support of Pippa Black, an Australian actress, and Jona Weinhofen, vegan guitarist and vocalist with Australian metal band I Killed the Prom Queen.

“Animal testing is an ugly business, and I have zero tolerance for the cruelty and exploitation that violates any animal subject to these horrendous practices. Make-up enhances our beauty on the outside. Making strong, educated and compassionate choices allows our inner beauty to shine through. Please put your best face forward and join me in signing the pledge to Be Cruelty-Free.”
– Pippa Black

“Animals are awesome but sometimes how we treat them is heart-breaking. Using rabbits and
guinea-pigs to test cosmetics like shampoo and deodorant is so selfish and cruel. They are poisoned and killed just so we can look or smell better when there are plenty of cruelty-free products that do the same job without hurting a single animal. And it’s not just a girl thing — us guys use these products every day, too, so we need to speak up. I want blokes to embrace their inner bunny and support cosmetics without cruelty. Join the Be Cruelty-Free campaign to ban cosmetics animal testing in Australia and worldwide.”
– Jona Weinhofen

Supporting Humane Research Australia

Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) is an accredited out-of-home or foster care provider based in the Sydney greater metropolitan area and Hunter Central Coast of N.S.W, Australia. PRFC was founded in 2001 to provide quality foster care to children and young people in N.S.W, including contemporary, quality, family-based foster care and effective and specialist support services to children and young people and their families. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as HRA as they encompass similar ideals.

Have you considered fostering a young one? PRFC undertakes regular planning and evaluation and has a focus on personal development and training. If you would like to become a foster carer and join our team providing effective and meaningful care to children and young people, please contact us!

We also provide family contact services, and these specialize in contact supervision for children in out of home care with their parents and other significant family members.

We can be reached at mail@phoenixrising.org.au

Learn more about our foster care agency in NSW at http://www.phoenixrising.org.au

Take Action!

No animal should have to suffer and die for the sake of a new shampoo or lipstick. All cosmetics should be cruelty-free!

Sign the global pledge to Be Cruelty-Free:
http://www.hsi.org/issues/becrueltyfree/be_cruelty_free.html

Buy Cruelty-Free products — we can all make a difference just by making simple changes in our daily lives:
http://www.choosecrueltyfree.org.au/cruelty-free-list/

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National Close the Gap Day is tomorrow!

What is National Close the Gap Day?

Equal access to healthcare is a basic human right, and in Australia, we expect it. However, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People can expect to live up to 10-17 years less than non-Indigenous Australians. Babies born to Aboriginal mothers die at more than twice the rate of other Australian babies, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience higher rates of preventable illness such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes. It’s a health crisis you’d associate with an impoverished nation, but it’s happening right here in our own backyard. Together we can change this picture.

Causes

The appalling state of Indigenous health has many causes and these include:

  • Health services are not accessible to many, and particularly remote, Aboriginal communities.
  • Mainstream health services often lack cultural sensitivity and remain unwelcoming places for many Indigenous peoples. The Indigenous health workforce remains disproportionately low when compared to the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders that make up the Australian population.
  • It fails to address other root causes. More than 200 years of dispossession, racism and discrimination have left Indigenous Australians with some of the lowest levels of education, highest levels of unemployment, poorest health and most appalling housing conditions.

National Close The Gap Day 20th March, 2014

National Close the Gap Day (NCTGD) is a way for all Australians to join together and remind our political leaders of their commitments to close the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.

Working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is one of the critical success factors. With continued support from the public, we can ensure the Australian Government continues to work with Indigenous communities, recommit additional funding and invest in real partnerships.

By joining together we can call on the government to:

  • Develop a comprehensive National Action Plan with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their representative bodies
  • Increase Indigenous community participation and control in the delivery of health services
  • Address the critical social issues of housing, education and self-determination

Supporting Oxfam

Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) is an accredited out-of-home or foster care provider based in the Sydney greater metropolitan area and Hunter Central Coast of N.S.W, Australia. PRFC was founded in 2001 to provide quality foster care to children and young people in N.S.W, including contemporary, quality, family-based foster care and effective and specialist support services to children and young people and their families. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Oxfam as they encompass similar ideals.

Have you considered fostering a young one? PRFC undertakes regular planning and evaluation and has a focus on personal development and training. If you would like to become a foster carer and join our team providing effective and meaningful care to children and young people, please contact us!

We also provide family contact services, and these specialize in contact supervision for children in out of home care with their parents and other significant family members.

We can be reached at mail@phoenixrising.org.au

Learn more about our foster care agency in NSW at www.phoenixrising.org.au

Take action!

Sign the Close the Gap pledge:
https://www.oxfam.org.au/my/act/sign-the-close-the-gap-pledge/

Or, get involved in National Close the Gap Day:
https://www.oxfam.org.au/act/events/national-close-the-gap-day/

Support Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Australia and help save the orangutans!

Orangutans – one of our closest relatives.

 Orangutans are highly intelligent with an ability to reason and think. This large, gentle red ape is one of our closest relatives, sharing 98% of our DNA. They are part of the great ape family, so they don’t have a tail and tend to be larger and heavier than monkeys, even though they are both primates. Great apes also have a bigger brain and can use tools, such as sticks, to help them get food to eat or leaves to make a sunshade or umbrella.
Habitat

Orangutans live in Asia and are found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, living in lowland and hilly tropical rainforests. They are regarded as an ‘umbrella species’, which means they are pivotal in creating the necessary environment for the thousands of fauna and flora that make up the biodiversity of the South East Asian rain forest. Its arboreal tree-swinging journeys help to spread tree seeds – in fact some trees can only germinate when they have passed through its gut.

They need our help!

Orangutans are an endangered species, with an estimated 50,000 left in the wild. The greatest threat to their survival is the extensive destruction of the rainforest. Some experts say about 6,000 orangutans are disappearing every year and without our collective help orangutans could be extinct in the wild within our lifetime. Estimates of the numbers left in the wild vary from as low as 16,000 to as high as 65,000. Most recent estimates indicate fewer than 7000 Sumatran orangutans and 50,000 Bornean orangutans survive in the wild today.

There are numerous threats to the viability of the remaining wild orangutan population in Indonesia and Malaysia. The primary threat is loss of habitat with up to 80% of suitable forest in Indonesia and Malaysia having been lost in the past 20 years. Other threats, which often go hand-in-hand with the destruction of the rainforest, are the illegal pet trade and poaching.

About Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia

“BOS Australia” contributes to the conservation and protection of orangutans and their habitat by fundraising and increasing awareness. It does so by funding, supporting, and assisting with the activities undertaken by the BOS Foundation (“BOS Indonesia”) for the protection, preservation and survival of orangutans.

In the 2012-2013 year they sent in excess of $250,000 to BOS Indonesia to help with their rehabilitation and release programmes as well as caring for those orangutans who for various reasons are unable to be returned the wild. They also witnessed and funded the continuation of the Orangutan release programme. 91 Orangutans have now been returned to their forest homes since February 2012. There are still some 600 orangutans to be released so the job has just begun. Plans are well under way for the funding of two coordinators who will focus on behavioural enrichment for the orangutans who are unable to be released due to disability or illness.

Supporting Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia

 Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) is an accredited out-of-home or foster care provider based in the Sydney greater metropolitan area and Hunter Central Coast of N.S.W, Australia. PRFC was founded in 2001 to provide quality foster care to children and young people in N.S.W, including contemporary, quality, family-based foster care and effective and specialist support services to children and young people and their families. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as BOS Australia as they encompass similar ideals.

Have you considered fostering a young one? PRFC undertakes regular planning and evaluation and has a focus on personal development and training. If you would like to become a foster carer and join our team providing effective and meaningful care to children and young people, please contact us!

We also provide family contact services, and these specialize in contact supervision for children in out of home care with their parents and other significant family members.

We can be reached at mail@phoenixrising.org.au

Learn more about our foster care agency in NSW at www.phoenixrising.org.au

How you can help

The funding for BOS Australia’s projects are raised through donations, orangutan adoptions, merchandise sales and other fundraising events and efforts organised by volunteer groups and the committee. You can do your bit to help by donating now:

http://www.mycause.com.au/charity/183/BorneoOrangutanSurvivalAustralia

You can also adopt an Orangutan and ensure that they will be cared for around-the-clock by dedicated ‘nannies’, who teach them everything they need to know for when it’s time to release them back to the wild in places not threatened by people.

http://www.orangutans.com.au/Orangutans-Survival/Orangutan-Adoptions.aspx

Join with Avaaz and help stop the Sinai slave trade

Human trafficking in Egypt

Thousands of East Africans have been abducted by criminal trafficking rings, and tortured in Egypt’s Sinai until their desperate families pay huge ransoms for their freedom. Victims are kidnapped in Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea and taken to Sinai.

Scarred, terrified and systematically tortured, the victims of human traffickers in the Sinai peninsula have been largely abandoned to their fate by Egyptian authorities. Even after ransoms are paid, survivors often find it impossible to reach safety because of an increase in border controls in the countries along the Sinai.

The Sinai desert is a hub for people trafficking. Many of the refugees from sub-Saharan Africa who get smuggled through there get tortured and blackmailed in the process. Bedouin gangs, instead of trafficking the refugees straight into Israel, often hold them captive, torture them and force relatives into paying ransoms for their release.

The official reports

Egyptian officials have rejected claims they turn a blind eye to the traffickers’ abuses and have denied that security forces at times actively collude with the people-smugglers in the peninsula, where Egyptian forces have been battling an increasingly sophisticated Islamic insurgency.

According to new research within a report titled ‘The Human Trafficking Cycle: Sinai and Beyond’, up to 30,000 Eritreans have been abducted since 2007 and taken to Egypt’s Sinai to suffer torture and ransom demands. Most of those targeted are Eritrean refugees fleeing the country. Torture is carried out routinely and includes severe beating, electrocution, water-drowning, burning, hanging, hanging by hair, and amputation of limbs – and is often a combination of these. Children, even the smallest of babies, are reported to have been beaten.

The campaign to stop slave trade in Sinai

Avaaz has put together a campaign to stop the slave trade in Sinai. This will involve:

  • Joining with elected officials from Egypt’s major donor countries to press Egypt to act;
  • Running hard-hitting ads targeting Egypt’s prized tourism industry;
  • Exposing the names of the key traffickers in a series of national Avaaz campaigns in the region;
  • Helping journalists get access to torture camps to investigate which officials are complicit.

Supporting Avaaz

Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) is an accredited out-of-home or foster care provider based in the Sydney greater metropolitan area and Hunter Central Coast of N.S.W, Australia. PRFC was founded in 2001 to provide quality foster care to children and young people in N.S.W, including contemporary, quality, family-based foster care and effective and specialist support services to children and young people and their families. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Avaaz as they encompass similar ideals.

Have you considered fostering a young one? PRFC undertakes regular planning and evaluation and has a focus on personal development and training. If you would like to become a foster carer and join our team providing effective and meaningful care to children and young people, please contact us!

We also provide family contact services, and these specialize in contact supervision for children in out of home care with their parents and other significant family members.

We can be reached at mail@phoenixrising.org.au

Learn more about our foster care agency in NSW at www.phoenixrising.org.au

How you can help

Support Avaaz in their campaign to stop slave trade by signing the petition:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/end_the_torture_trade_loc/?slideshow

Join with Humane Research Australia to stop cruel testing on animals

Animal testing in Australia

In Australia, up to 6.5 million animals annually are used in futile and cruel experiments. Most animals are killed during or after experiments. The public is generally denied access to the facts around animal experiments in any real detail.

Animals are not only used in medical research – they are also used to test products such as shampoos, cleaners, and makeup.

In order to test the irritancy, toxicity, carcinogenicity and teratogenicity (resulting in deformed offspring) of non-essential products like a new lipstick, shampoo or toilet cleaner, animals are subjected to very cruel and painful tests. These can include administration of the compound being tested by applying to abraded skin, application to the eyes, orally and intravenously. Aside from the obvious pain caused by these procedures, stress is also caused from handling, restraint and other routine laboratory procedures.

It is illegal in Australia to test cosmetics on animals. Whilst it is not explicitly ‘banned’ in all states, it would not accord with the justification requirements of the Code, and thus would be illegal. However, the problem lies in that many popular products in supermarkets have been tested on animals, and this is because there is no law to prevent Australian and International companies from carrying out cruel animal tests overseas before selling their products here.

Humane Research Australia

Humane Research Australia feels that putting non-consenting, highly sentient, beings through the pain and suffering caused by cosmetic research cannot be justified considering that humane, proven and safe alternatives are available right now, and significant reforms in banning animal testing have already been implemented in the UK and the EU.

In collaboration with Choose Cruelty Free, HRA is working with international groups to call for a global boycott of products that have been tested on animals. By joining forces they hope to create a strong united voice against animal testing.

Supporting Humane Research Australia

Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) is an accredited out-of-home or foster care provider based in the Sydney greater metropolitan area and Hunter Central Coast of N.S.W, Australia. PRFC was founded in 2001 to provide quality foster care to children and young people in N.S.W, including contemporary, quality, family-based foster care and effective and specialist support services to children and young people and their families. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Humane Research Australia as they encompass similar ideals.

Have you considered fostering a young one? PRFC undertakes regular planning and evaluation and has a focus on personal development and training. If you would like to become a foster carer and join our team providing effective and meaningful care to children and young people, please contact us!

We also provide family contact services, and these specialize in contact supervision for children in out of home care with their parents and other significant family members.

We can be reached at mail@phoenixrising.org.au

Learn more about our foster care agency in NSW at www.phoenixrising.org.au

How you can help

One of the easiest and most important things you can do to help end product testing is to NEVER purchase any cosmetic or household product that has been tested on animals. To find out which products are genuinely ‘cruelty free’ you can check CCF’s Preferred Product List. They also have an app you can download to ensure your list is always with you when shopping.

You can also write to, call or email The Hon. Peter Dutton, Minister for Health, to call for a ban.

PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: 02 6277 4884
Email: Peter.Dutton.MP@aph.gov.au

Sign the petition: http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/australians-for-cruelty-free-cosmetics

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