UN Expert visits Australia to report on Aboriginal Human Rights
Aboriginal Housing in the NT
Other Aboriginal articles


– Media Releases

UN Official to Report on Aboriginal Human Rights
17 Aug 09: “Prof. James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on
Indigenous Human Rights is visiting various centres in
Australia over the next two weeks. His task will be to
report back to the UN. Several thousand Aboriginal people
from across the Northern Territory and other parts of
Australia, indigenous organisations, church leaders and
local parishes, community and church social justice groups,
Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR)
and other organisations, as well as many ordinary citizens
have signed a letter to the UN Special Rapporteur. The
visit coincides with Government efforts to convince
Aboriginal communities through a flawed consultation
process, that special measures to restrict their human
rights are acceptable.”

United Nations – Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights:
UN Expert on Indigenous People to visit Australia
11 Aug 09: “The Special Rapporteur on the situation of
human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people,
James Anaya, will visit Australia, 17 to 28 August, at the
invitation of the Government. “During my the twelve-day
mission, I will investigate and report on the major
challenges faced by indigenous peoples of the country in
the enjoyment of their human rights,” said Professor Anaya,
“with a view toward contributing to steps to address those
problems, as well as to identify good practices,” The
Special Rapporteur will travel to Canberra and to Adelaide,
Perth, Alice Springs, Darwin, Groote Eylandt, Cairns,
Sydney, and Brisbane to hold discussions with government
representatives, indigenous communities and civil society
groups on the human rights of indigenous peoples. A press
conference will be held in Canberra at the conclusion of
the Special Rapporteur’s visit – on Thursday, 27 August,
with additional information to follow. Professor Anaya
will present the visit’s findings in a forthcoming session
of the Human Rights Council.”

Wiktionary, the Free Dictionary definition:
rapporteur – a person appointed by a deliberative body to
investigate an issue or a situation, and report back to
that body.

– Submissions to UN Rapporteur

Australia gets bad rap to UN rapporteur over Aborigines
17 Aug 09: “A northwest NSW Aboriginal leader has put a
submission to a visiting high United Nations official on
indigenous rights, alleging that Australian governments are
trying to wipe out Aboriginal identity. Michael Anderson,
leader of the Euahlayi Nation of northwest NSW and
southwest Queensland and elected spokesman of the 16 tribes
in the Gumilaroi nation had a meeting scheduled in Canberra
today with Professor James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on
the situation of human rights and freedoms of Indigenous
Peoples. … Recommendations: That the UN Special
Rapporteur investigate all Acts of the Australian Federal
Parliament that deal with and impact upon Aboriginal
Peoples and report all violations within to the CERD,
CESCR and any other UN treaty body whose articles are

Indigenous People’s Organisations Network of Australia:
Submission to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of
human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people
– Australian mission
17-28 Aug 09: “The Australian Human Rights and Commission
has made a submission on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples
Organisation Network (IPON) of Australia to Professor S.
James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights and
fundamental freedoms of Indigenous Peoples, on the current
status of Indigenous human rights in Australia for his
Mission to Australia which is taking place from 17-28
August 2009. Additional information supplied by the
National Indigenous Youth Movement of Australia is included
as Appendix 3 of this submission.”

– News

National Indigenous Times:
UN Indigenous expert touches down to look at intervention
17 Aug 09: “Aboriginal groups, church leaders and social
justice groups have invited the United Nations to
investigate whether the intervention in the Northern
Territory is a violation of human rights. UN Special
Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples, Professor James Anaya, will
visit Aboriginal communities in the NT over the next two
weeks according to a statement by the groups on Monday. …
One of the groups, Australians for Native Title and
Reconciliation (ANTAR), says it wants Prof Anaya to insist
human rights principles as set out in the UN convention
against racial discrimination be applied. And that the
government re-instate the Racial Discrimination Act without
“special measures”.”

Economic Times: UN probes Aboriginal discrimination allegations
17 Aug 09: “A United Nations indigenous rights expert said
Monday that Australian government policy to stamp out child
abuse in Outback communities appeared to discriminate
against Aborigines. But the U.N. special rapporteur on
indigenous human rights, James Anaya, said he would reserve
his judgment on the government’s intervention in Aboriginal
communities in the Northern Territory until the end of a
12-day fact-finding mission that officially began on

9 News: UN expert examines NT intervention
17 Aug 09: “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, but he’s
yet to make up his mind that if doing so is in the best
interests of Australia’s indigenous people.”

ABC: UN probes human rights in Aboriginal camps
17 Aug 09: “Professor James Anaya, the UN’s special
rapporteur on Indigenous human rights, will visit a number
of town camps and Aboriginal communities across the
Northern Territory and other parts of Australia. It is
expected he will meet with a number of groups to raise
concerns about the Federal Government’s Northern Territory
intervention, as well as the Government itself, before
reporting back to the UN.”

Bloomberg: Aborigines Demand End to Controls as UN Envoy Visits
17 Aug 09: “Australian Aboriginal groups are demanding the
government lifts its control of dozens of Outback
communities as a United Nations envoy begins a 12-day
mission to probe human rights in the country. … More than
3,000 people have signed a letter to James Anaya, the UN
special rapporteur on indigenous human rights, decrying the
“discriminatory” policy, under which welfare payments are
held by government officials to ensure money is spent on

BBC: UN investigates Australia rights
17 Aug 09: “A senior United Nations official is in
Australia to investigate complaints by Aboriginal
communities that the government is violating their rights.
… A coalition of Aboriginal groups, church organisations
and human rights activists say that the government
intervention into Aboriginal communities, launched in 2007,
is racially discriminatory.”

Jerusalem Post:
UN rep visits Australia to probe Aboriginal discrimination claims
17 Aug 09: “A United Nations representative is visiting
Australia to investigate complaints that a government
crackdown on child abuse in Outback settlements is
violating Aborigines’ human rights. … Activists say these
measures violate human rights because they target
Aborigines only.”

ABC Radio Australia News:
UN indigenous affairs inspector in Australia
16 Aug 09: “The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on
Indigenous Affairs has begun a 12-day visit to Australia.
He will report to the UN Human Rights Council on the
situation of Australia’s indigenous people. Professor
James Anaya will travel to urban and remote areas to meet
government and indigenous representatives, as well as civil
society groups.”

– Radio

ABC AM: United Nations to report on Aboriginal communities
17 Aug 09: “A special investigator from the United Nations
today begins a two-week examination of Aboriginal
communities in Australia. Professor James Anaya the UN
special rapporteur will report back to the United Nations
after his tour which will take in a number of town camps
and Aboriginal communities across the Northern Territory as
well as other parts of Australia. … More than 3,000
letters from Indigenous people and community groups will
be presented to the United Nations special rapporteur on
Indigenous human rights. The letters detail their concerns
that the Northern Territory intervention is racially
[includes comments by David Cooper of ANTaR]


– Photo stories

Australian: Frank Anderson’s story
15 Aug 09: “Frank Anderson and Mary Johnny live in a tin
shack at the back of the Wuppa Town camp in Tennant Creek,

Australian: Helen Limbiari’s story
15 Aug 09: “Helen Limbiari can have up to 40 family family
members in her house on Marla-Marla Town Camp”

– News

Australian: Plenty of talk, but people still live in broken homes
15 Aug 09: “AS she sits in her decrepit house holding a
baby, Ruth Kerinauia is blissfully unaware of her terrible
poverty. For her, broken windows and faulty plumbing
systems are nothing new, and nobody ever comes to fix them.”

Australian: Town camp residents ‘happy’ to live in filth
15 Aug 09: “GOVERNMENT and Aboriginal council officials
insist indigenous people living in filthy, overcrowded
“town camps” on the outskirts of remote Northern Territory
towns such as Tennant Creek are happy that there are not
any new houses for them. … the story on the ground, from
the people living in appalling conditions in seven town
camps around Tennant Creek, 500km north of Alice Springs,
is much different.”


– Video

that munanga linguist:
Another video – this time in Yolnu Matha – rather powerful
29 May 09: “Created in response to the Northern Territory
and Federal Government’s continued attempts to close down
Indigenous Homeland communities. Yolngu and other
Indigenous people have been living on their Homelands since
before Settlement. Since missionary days they have asserted
their desire to remain on their own traditional country.”

– Facebook

Supporters of Bilingual Education in the Northern Territory
“On October 14, 2008, the then NT Minister for Education
Marion Scrymgour announced that the first four hours of
education in all NT Schools will be delivered in English.
This put an end to 34 years of Bilingual Education in the
Northern Territory by ending the 10 remaining programs. In
2009, hundreds of Indigenous Language speaking students
will be taught in a foreign language for almost all their
school day. The main platforms advocating for the continued
existence of Bilingual Education are: … “

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