Northern Territory Intervention

Closing the Gap in the NT Monitoring Report (FaHCSIA)

For 1 January – 30 June 2010


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NT 'intervention' IS discriminatory: UN Raporteur - hypocritical racism entrenched in Australia



A United Nations Raporteur has found the Northern Territory Intervention (a kind of mini martial law) breaches Australia's international obligations.....

THE United Nations special rapporteur on indigenous rights says the intervention into remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory is clearly discriminatory, and that there is "entrenched" racism in Australia. James Anaya didn't pull any punches after his two-week visit of the country. He says the Rudd Government should reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act in the NT "right away" because the intervention is discriminatory. "It undermines the right of indigenous peoples to control their own destinies, their right to self-determination," he said.
He also slammed Labor's policy of demanding 40-year leases over indigenous land before building new houses and said the stolen generations should be paid compensation. The Racial Discrimination Act was suspended in the NT by the former Howard government so the intervention's more extreme measures, such as quarantining welfare payments, could be rolled out. The Rudd government has promised to introduce legislation to reinstate the act in the Spring session of parliament, but wants to continue many of the compulsory measures.
Prof Anaya says while there's no doubt special efforts are required to combat indigenous disadvantage and abuse of women and children, the intervention's "broad sweep" goes too far and is incompatible with various international conventions, covenants, treaties and declarations. Some kind of special measures could be justified but they need to be narrowly tailored to the specific circumstances that exist," the rapporteur said.
Compulsory income management and blanket bans on alcohol and pornography were "overtly discriminatory" and further stigmatised already stigmatised communities, he said. "People who have a demonstrated capacity to manage their income are included. "It's inappropriate to their circumstances but is also, as expressed by them, demeaning." The indigenous rights expert was also scathing of federal Labor's insistence that housing funds would only flow if indigenous communities signed over their land... 
Suspending the Racial Discrimination Act to enable the Northern Territory intervention to proceed was, on the face of it, itself discriminatory, the United Nations' special rapporteur on indigenous human rights says. Professor James Anaya believes there's a prima facie case that suspending the act is discriminatory...
Australia has defended a controversial policy that allows for official intervention in remote aboriginal communities, which a UN expert says is discriminatory.
James Anaya, a UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights, has criticised the policy, saying it violated international obligations on human rights by imposing radical restrictions on Aborigines during a crackdown on child sex abuse in the communities.
Under the intervention programme, tough restrictions were imposed on Aborigines in the Northern Territory in response to a report that found child sex abuse was rampant in remote indigenous communities.
Anaya's comments came as Australia launched its latest bid to address inequality, ill-health and poverty among its 500,000 indigenous people.....
ALSO SEE "101 East- Aboriginal child abuse controversy- 12Jul07" VIDEO Parts 1 + 2
#STATEMENT of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, James Anaya, as he concludes his visit to Australia - Canberra/Geneva, 27 August 2009: Over the past 11 days, I have met with Government authorities, representatives of indigenous communities and organisations, and others, in Canberra, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. I have visited a number of indigenous communities in both remote and urban areas, and have collected information from several sources...
Protecting the most vulnerable members of the Northern Territory's indigenous communities must be balanced against other human rights, says Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin..... A litany of problems plaguing some remote indigenous regions, including poverty, violence, child abuse and overcrowded housing cannot be ignored, she said, but acknowledged issues as income management and alcohol control were controversial..... video)


interviews with Pat Turner, Olga Havnen and NT mob. invitation to take action and converge on Canberra for Aboriginal Rights Feb 12

canberra, can you hear us Part 1


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