18/03/09: UN, AUSTRALIA & ABORIGINAL RIGHTS

Age: United Nations to query Australia on possible human rights breaches
http://www.theage.com.au/national/united-nations-to-query-australia-on-possible-human-rights-breaches-20090312-8wid.html?skin=text-only
13 Mar 09: “PARTS of Australia’s immigration and indigenous
policies have been named potential human rights violations
by the United Nations. … The listing of potential
international law breaches comes as the UN Human Rights
Committee prepares to hold a review into Australia’s human
rights record in New York over the next fortnight. The UN
panel has made particular note of the suspension of the
Racial Discrimination Act for the indigenous intervention
in the Northern Territory … ” Tom Arup, Canberra

NIT: NT intervention an ’embarrassment’, Amnesty tells UN
http://www.nit.com.au/story.aspx?id=17305
17 Mar 09: “Amnesty International plans to embarrass the
Rudd government on the international stage this week over
what it says are on-going human rights abuses in Australia.
Amnesty says the federal government intervention in remote
Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory is a
“clear-cut” breach of the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights (ICCPR). … Amnesty’s report is also
critical of Labor’s failure to support the UN Declaration
of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, despite promising to
do so before the 2007 election.” Julian Drape

ABC Radio Australia:
Australia in ”flagrant” breach of rights, says Amnesty
http://www.radioaustralianews.net.au/stories/200903/2517189.htm?desktop
16 Mar 09: “The human rights group Amnesty International
says Australia is flagrantly breaching its human rights
obligations by continuing to suspend race discrimination
laws in some Aboriginal communities. … Amnesty’s report
on the intervention will be presented to the UN Human
Rights Committee in New York this week, where Australia’s
human rights record is under review.” Linda Mottram

ABC: NT Intervention breaches international law: Amnesty
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/16/2517145.htm
16 Mar 09: “Amnesty International says Australia is
breaching its international obligations by suspending race
discrimination laws as part of the Northern Territory
intervention. … Amnesty says Australia should make the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights part
of domestic law, possibly through a bill of rights.”

Freedom Respect Equality Dignity: Action
NGO Submission to the Human Rights Committee:
Australia’s Compliance with the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights
http://www.ccprcentre.org/doc/HRC/Australia/NGO%20information/HRLRC_sept08.pdf
Sep 2008: “This submission to the Human Rights Committee
has been prepared by the National Association of Community
Legal Centres, the Human Rights Law Resource Centre and
Kingsford Legal Centre, with substantial contributions from
over 50 NGOs. This submission is supported, in whole or in
part, by more than 200 NGOs across Australia. … ”
Includes sections on Article 1 – Right of Self-Determination:

  • Recognition of Self-Determination for Indigenous Australians
  • Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • The Stolen Generations
  • Intervention into Northern Territory Indigenous Communities
  • Native Title

Human Rights Law Resource Centre:
Indigenous Rights: Request for Urgent Action on NT
Intervention from UN CERD (Jan 2009)
http://www.hrlrc.org.au/html/s02_article/article_view.asp?id=450&nav_cat_id=133&nav_top_id=56
“The Centre is acting for a group of 20 Indigenous
Australians affected by the Northern Territory Intervention
– introduced by the Howard Government and continued by the
Rudd Government – who have submitted a Request for Urgent
Action to the United Nations saying that Australia is in
breach of its obligations under the International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination. … ”

SMH: Australia will sign UN charter on indigenous rights: Dodson
http://www.smh.com.au/national/australia-will-sign-un-charter-on-indigenous-rights-dodson-20090311-8vak.html?skin=text-only
12 Mar 09: “AUSTRALIA could reverse its position on a
United Nations charter of indigenous rights as early as
May, the Australian of the Year, Professor Mick Dodson,
says. … it is Rudd Government policy to support the
declaration and it has been looking for a way to reconcile
support with its own approach to indigenous affairs.” Joel
Gibson Indigenous Affairs Reporter

ABC AM: Racism conference needs Australia
http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2008/s2513815.htm
12 Mar 09: “TONY EASTLEY: The Federal Government will soon
have to make up its mind on whether to attend a
controversial United Nations conference on racism next
month. Already the US, Israel, Canada and Italy have
announced they will boycott the forum in Geneva. … “

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