Analysis and Opinion regarding 'Stronger Futures' Human Rights compliance

Last updated: 28 June 2012

Background: Calls for 'Stronger Futures' laws to be subject to Human Rights scrutiny
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Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
Michelle Harris from Concerned Australians
28 Jun 12: "The Senate is due to vote on the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill any day now. The Stronger Futures legislation has been labeled by many as a continuation in the Northern Territory intervention and a large number of people have been expressing concern about the Stronger Futures Bill... with a loud voice calling for the Bill to be examined by the newly created Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights. The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples has requested this formally in a letter to the human rights committee...and the committee’s chair Harry Jenkins raised this letter and the request with Ms Macklin last week."

ABC The Drum Opinion: Who's afraid of human rights?
27 Jun 12: "Human rights form part of the democratic process and serve to strengthen a democracy, demanding transparency in the legislative process and calling into account elected representatives when their political judgement falls short of expectations demanded by their citizens. ... Some days later a second group, the National Congress of Australia's First People, called on the committee to establish an inquiry into Stronger Futures legislation currently before the Senate. ... It's a sign of a robust democracy when civil society is given the opportunity to question draft legislation ... "
Emilija Beljic, National Research Officer at St Vincent de Paul Society National Council office

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
Graeme Mundine on Stronger Futures Bills which are before the Senate this week
25 Jun 12: "A respected Aboriginal Catholic leader has warned the relationship Governments have with Aboriginal people will be set back decades if the Stronger Futures Bill is voted on favourably in the Senate. The Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill has been labelled as a continuation of the Northern Territory Intervention... Executive Director of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry and Bundjalung man Graeme Mundine was among those who presented a petition against the Stronger Futures bill to the Parliament last week. ... He says at the very least, the bill should go to the new Human Rights Committee... to look at the human rights implacations, and whether it fits within the Government’s own standards of dealing with people throughout the country."

ABC PM: Extension of NT Intervention in breach of human rights: UN
18 May 12: "The United Nations has heard that Australia is breaching its human rights obligations by moving to extend the Intervention in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities. The chairman of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples says it's a major disappointment that the Government is extending laws for another 10 years, without the consent of the people concerned. Les Malezer says the laws are racist. ... "
"LES MALEZER: The major disappointment has been the decision of the Government to extend the Northern Territory Intervention laws for another 10 years without the consent of the people's concerned and without subjecting the proposed new laws to scrutiny against Australia's human rights obligations as a member of the United Nations."

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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)