Thursday 2 September 2010

A United Nations comittee has critized Australia's handling of indigenous Issues

The United Nations has criticized Australia for its treatment of indigenous Australians and for not enshrining indigenous rights in its constitution.

UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION, AUSTRALIA ABC - The United Nations human rights panel has rebuked Australia over its treatment of aboriginals.
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) released the observation on Friday (August 27) after the conclusion of it's 77th session.

The report said "the Committee's concerns regarding Australia mostly centred on the status and treatment of indigenous peoples in the country," and noted "the slow implementation of the principle of indigenous peoples' exercising meaningful control over their affairs."

In 2007 the Howard Government suspended the racial discrimination act to be able to intervene in remote Aboriginal communities. The act was re-instated in June 2010 by the Rudd government.

At a national forum in Brisbane on Saturday (August 28) the suspension of the racial discrimination act was discussed.

"I don't know if Australia wants to be that sort of country, that sort of creates laws to protect people, then suspends it and I think it's great that the United Nations picked up on that and has made comment," said Australian human rights commissioner Mick Gooda.

Bill Grant of the Law Council of Australia said the whole issue needs to be re-examined.

The committee also "reiterated its concern about the disproportionate incarceration rates and the persisting problems leading to deaths in custody of a considerable number of Indigenous Australians over the years."

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