UN expert expresses need of culturally adequate reforms for indigenous in Australia

March 10th, 2010 - 5:19 am ICT by BNO News  

UNITED NATIONS (BNO NEWS) – An independent United Nations expert expressed his concern for Indigenous people in Australia on Tuesday.

James Anaya, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people called on Australian authorities to create new social and economic initiatives that respect cultural integrity and self-determination.

“Having suffered a history of oppression and racial discrimination, including dispossession of lands and social and cultural upheaval, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples endure severe disadvantage compared with non-indigenous Australians,” Anaya said.

Anaya made an official visit to Australia last August, issuing a report stating that the so-called Northern Territory Emergency Response - a Government plan carried out in 2007 that addresses problems faced by Aborigines, particularly women and children - has several flaws regarding human rights.

In the emergency response, police were sent to Aboriginal areas to control alcohol abuse, sex abuse and domestic violence, providing supplies for income management, a declration of general powers by the Commonwealth Government over Aboriginal communities, and alcohol and pornography restrictions.

Anaya took note on how indigenous Australian communities continue to lack effective control of their lands, recommending indigenous participation in the design, delivery, and monitoring of programs that would be culturally appropriate.

“Governmental programmes must secure just social and economical well-being for indigenous peoples, while advancing their self-determination and strengthening their cultural bonds,” Anaya added.

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