When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are strong in their identity and culture, and have the support of their communities, they can face even the toughest challenges. But many Indigenous children have been disconnected from their culture and too frequently end up in detention, away from their community.
Despite comprising only 6% of the population of 10 to 17 years-olds, Indigenous children make up over half of the youth detention population in Australia. Nationally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are 24 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-Indigenous children. Recent media coverage of the abuse of Indigenous children in the Northern Territory’s youth detention centre has brought international attention to the broader injustices facing Indigenous children in the Australian justice system.
In August 2016, we launched our report, Heads held high: Keeping Queensland kids out of detention, strong in culture and community.
In this report, the third in a series of reports for the Community is Everything campaign, Amnesty International documents similar concerns about the condition and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in detention in Queensland.
The report also considers the wider human rights implications presented by the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Queensland’s youth justice system. Indigenous children in Queensland are 22 times more likely to be detained than non-Indigenous children. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children make up about 8% of all 10 to 17 year-olds in Queensland but 65% of the youth detention population on an average day.