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4. Australia's massive human rights violations towards Aboriginal peoples under the NTER (NT Intervention)

Australia is in breach of a staggering 25 articles - more than half - of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Australia endorsed decades ago, the intervention breaches almost half of the 30 articles.

In February 2009 a group of 20 Aboriginal people made a "Request for Urgent Action" to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). As a result, the Committee has requested the Australian Government should take urgent action to ensure that the Northern Territory Intervention complies with Australia's obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, James Anaya, stated after his visit to Australia that the measures of the NT Intervention are incompatible with Australia's international human rights obligations.

A legislation ("New RDA laws") that claims to rectify the breaches of the international human rights obligation by seeming to re-instate the suspended Racial Discrimination Act has passed both houses of parliament on 21 June 2010, the day of the third anniversary of the NT Intervention. It is very unlikely that this new legislation will reach this goal, as stated by Professor, the Honourable Alastair Nicholson, Former Chief Justice, Family Court of Australia: "I urge all of you to continue the fight against this legislation and to maintain that fight even if it is passed. As an Australian I am tired of my country being subjected by its Governments to classification as racist and white supremacist and I am tired of being ashamed of my country as I have been since the advent of the Howard Government and now its successor."

Related Links

NIT - The intervention: a battalion of human rights breaches - 2 October 2008 - Link
Human Rights Law Resource Centre - Indigenous Rights: Request for Urgent Action on NT Intervention from UN CERD (Sept 2009) - Link
Report from James Anaya (Advanced version) - Link
Yahoo News - NT intervention violates human rights: UN - 24 February 2010 - Link
ABC - UN rapporteur raps NT intervention - by Alexandra Kirk - 24 February 2010 - Link
GALDU - Resource Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - AUSTRALIA: Aboriginal Program Violates Human Rights, UN Special Rapporteur - 24 February 2010 - Link
Address delivered by Professor the Honourable Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC - The Failure of the Rudd Government's Aboriginal Policy - 29 March 2010 - Link
New RDA laws: Link