Australia must step up for Indigenous kids as Julie Bishop talks up Human Rights Council bid.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has today begun her US visit to officially launch Australia’s Human Rights Council candidacy. In response, Julian Cleary, Indigenous Rights Campaigner at Amnesty International Australia, said:

“While Ms Bishop is overseas talking up Australia’s human rights record, back at home one of Australia’s most serious human rights abuses needs to be urgently addressed. That Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are 25 times more likely to be locked up than non-Indigenous children is an international disgrace.”

“The UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights last month on her visit to Australia was shocked at the ‘simply astounding’ rate of incarceration of Indigenous children, and said Australia needed to substantially address Indigenous issues to be a member of the Human Rights Council.”

“Australia must demonstrate its commitment to the next generation of Indigenous kids, indeed to all Australian children, who all deserve the very best start in life. In 2017, the Federal Government must announce a national action plan to reform our youth justice system and support Indigenous children to stay with their families and flourish in their communities.”