Saturday, November 21, 2009

Australia's Shame

'Tide of human tragedy' affecting Aborigines headlines the ABC on Nov 18th. It continues
The Secretary-General of Amnesty International has criticised the Federal Government for its failure to lift Aboriginal people out of dire poverty.

Irene Khan says she is appalled by conditions in the remote Aboriginal communities she recently visited in the Northern Territory.

She says the human rights of Aboriginal people are being violated.

"[That] these violations occur on a continent of such privilege, it is not merely disheartening, it is deeply disturbing," she told the National Press Club today.

"And the longstanding failure of Australian governments to turn this tide of human tragedy demands much more than condemnation.

"It demands much more than commitment."

She says elements of the Northern Territory intervention, like compulsory income management, rob people of their dignity.

She has urged the Government to repeal such elements.

"To be brutally frank, I see here an enormous opportunity for change, but I fear that that opportunity for change may be squandered, unless and until there is a profound shift from consultations to engagement and onto empowerment of Indigenous people."

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