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Drug testing welfare recipients is not about love, it's about punishment

12th May 2017

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Miranda Forsyth is an Associate Professor at RegNet and also a Fellow at SSGM in the College of Asia and Pacific at ANU. The broad focus of Miranda’s research is investigating the possibilities and challenges of the inter-operation of state and non-state justice and regulatory systems.

At present her focus is on examining these issues in the context of both the protection of traditional knowledge and introduction of western intellectual property regimes, and also the regulation of sorcery and witchcraft related violence in Melanesia. Her research has had a strong focus on Vanuatu to date, but in the last few years she has also researched other countries in the Pacific islands region, particularly PNG, Fiji and Samoa.

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RegNet’s Miranda Forsyth and Cynthia Banham offer their perspective on the 2017 Australian Budget announced this week.

In an opinion piece in the Guardian, they discuss the proposition to impose drug tests on welfare recipients. The proposal would see job seeker recipients who tested positive being placed on the cashless debit card scheme.

It is “an unjustified infringement upon individual liberty and the right to privacy”, they argue. “Putting resources into high-quality substance abuse programs is far more likely to have positive social outcomes than the continual punishment of those we are ostensibly seeking to benefit.”

Read the full article here.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet