News Articles regarding 'Stronger Futures' Human Rights compliance

Last updated: 19 December 2012

Background: Calls for 'Stronger Futures' laws to be subject to Human Rights scrutiny
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Human Rights Law Centre: UN Human Rights Committee asks Australia to explain human rights record
19 Dec 12: "The UN Human Rights Committee has asked Australia to explain how a range of laws, policies and practices are compatible with international human rights standards ahead of a major review of Australia’s human rights record. ... "The expert treaty body has asked the government to explain, for example, how Australia can adequately protect human rights in the absence of a national Human Rights Act. It has also raised prima facie concerns with issues such as ... the human rights compatibility of the continuing Northern Territory intervention, ... said Mr Schokman. [HRLC’s Director of International Human Rights Advocacy, Ben Schokman] ... The Committee also expressed concern about the "disproportionately high rate of incarceration of Indigenous people""

National Indigenous Radio Service: Amnesty to continue fight against Stronger Futures
6 Jul 12: "A peak international human rights group says it'll continue its campaign against the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory legislation despite it passing Federal Parliament. Amnesty International's Manager for Indigenous Rights Monica Morgan says the legislation is a punitive measure and the policies are not based on credible evidence. She says the consultation process was too brief and was rushed through Parliament without the human rights scrutiny it should have received...."

newsTracker: Stronger Futures is a "war on democracy": Gondarra
29 Jun 12: "NATIONAL: A respected Yolngu leader has slammed both major parties for passing the Stronger Futures laws, stating they have both "stolen the authority and responsibility of Aboriginal people" and started a "war on democracy". ... "By not subjecting the Bills to scrutiny under the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee, the government has missed its opportunity to respect the rights of Aboriginal Peoples in the NT, leaving the people who will bear the brunt of these policies under continued Government control for the next decade." [said Monica Morgan, Manager of Amnesty International’s Indigenous Rights Program] "

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association: CAAMA Radio Online News 26.06.12
26 Jun 12: "An Australian human rights campaigner has strengthened the call for the Stronger Futures Bill to be examined against Australia’s human rights obligations... warning if the Government does not comply with the request for this to happen, Australia can only be viewed in a negative way internationally."

National Indigenous Radio Service: Greens call for human rights scrutiny of Stronger Futures
25 May 12: "The Australian Greens Indigenous Affairs Spokesperson Rachel Siewert is calling for a human rights review of the extension of the Northern Territory Intervention via the Federal Government's Stronger Futures legislation. ... "A lot of people see Stronger Futures for what it is, which is an extension of that discriminatory approach. "But because it was introduced just before the Joint Committee on Human Rights got started in Parliament, it didn't get referred to that Committee. ... "Therefore, many of us believe it should be referred to that committee.""

newsTracker: Intervention laws need scrutiny: Gooda
24 May 12: "NATIONAL: Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda says the federal government should subject its legislation extending the Northern Territory intervention to scrutiny by a new human rights committee. The United Nations this week challenged Labor to refer its Stronger Futures laws to the parliamentary joint committee on human rights. The legislation, currently before the Senate, was introduced to parliament before the committee was set up late last year. But Mr Gooda, the government’s Indigenous social justice commissioner, says the draft laws should be reviewed as a matter of urgency before they are passed."

newsTracker: UN urges scrutiny of intervention laws
23 May 12: "NATIONAL: The United Nations has challenged the Australian government to subject its Stronger Futures laws, which would continue the Northern Territory intervention in remote Indigenous communities, to scrutiny against its human rights obligations. ... The legislation is before the Senate and was introduced to parliament before the committee was set up late last year. "Putting it up for review by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights would be a strong signal that the government is committed to bringing it fully in line with its human rights obligations," Ms Bogner wrote ... "

Age: NT laws 'need rights testing'
23 May 12: "A SENIOR UN official has called on the Australian government to subject its proposals for an extension of the federal intervention in the Northern Territory to scrutiny by a newly formed parliamentary committee on human rights. ... Under laws that took effect in January, all government legislation must be examined by a parliamentary committee on human rights, which examines whether the proposals comply with Australia's international human rights obligations. However the so-called ''Stronger Futures'' proposals are not subject to this requirement because the bills were introduced in November."

Age: Stronger Futures laws slammed at UN
17 May 12: "An Aboriginal leader has taken the fight against the federal government's continuation of the Northern Territory intervention to the United Nations. The chairman of the National Congress of Australia's First People, Les Malezer, spoke at the UN permanent forum on indigenous issues in New York this week, where he criticised the proposed 10-year extension of the intervention. ... "However, the government is refusing to respond to calls for scrutiny of the bills or to be accountable for introducing these race-based laws." [Mr Malezer said] " Lisa Martin

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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)