Amnesty International Australia is alarmed at reports the Northern Territory Government is planning a new wave of child removals in a desperate attempt to be seen to be doing something about the chronic underfunding of therapeutic programs for young people in the Territory.
“This latest knee-jerk move has deeply traumatic echoes of the 2007 intervention. Rather than looking to address the underlying causes of the behaviour – intergenerational trauma, poverty, lack of housing and services – this proposal about which we have very few details seeks once again to punish the most vulnerable in our community,” Amnesty International Australia Indigenous Rights Lead Campaigner, Maggie Munn, said.
“We have written to the Minister to urgently seek details of the plan.
“Of course the concerns in the community are valid, but we must protect both Aboriginal children and the broader community in Alice Springs. However, government systems dealing with child protection and youth justice have repeatedly failed Aboriginal families.
“We need lasting solutions led by First Nations communities with appropriate support from the Government. Solutions that allow children to thrive, not expose them to a never-ending cycle of trauma, harm and violence.
“There are already community-led programs doing great work addressing these issues, but they need the long-term backing and funding of the government for a chance to make a sustained long-term change.
“It isn’t easy, but we have to move past these Band-Aid solutions that don’t address the issues, and end up harming the young kids who need our help the most.”
All kids have the right to be free, happy and safe – including First Nations kids. Children need to be loved and supported so they can reach their full potential. Act now and learn more about our child rights and Indigenous justice campaigns.