Australia slapped with F minus for zero progress in Indigenous affairs
Australia has been given an F minus for its performance in Indigenous affairs in 2018.
The assessment in the Australian Lawyers for Human Rights 2018 Human Rights Report Card released this week is unchanged from 2017.
Australia flunked because “there has been no progress towards reconciliation, civil, political, economic, social or cultural rights”, the report said.
It also found Australia had failed to improve in other key areas such as with refugees and asylum seekers (also an F) and rights for the disabled (a D).
“As a nation, we can’t seem to move favourably in ensuring basic human rights are established and protected for all Australians equally,” ALHR president Kerry Weste said.
“Considering Australia has sat on the United Nations Human Rights Council for a year now, our human rights situation is something we must address swiftly and comprehensively.”
The report said 2018 was punctuated with failures to redress the rights of Indigenous Australians — a situation highlighted by the decision to allocate almost $50m in funding to commemorate 250 years of colonisation.
The federal budget had also not delivered for Indigenous Australia, it said.
“There was no mention in the 2018-19 Federal Budget of important areas such as justice, family violence, Closing the Gap and child protection, but there were major cuts to remote housing,” it said.
“There was no meaningful progress toward Constitutional Recognition and a voice to parliament. All of these issues are interlinked, and the nation has reached a crisis point.”
When it came to overall human rights, the organisation said Western Australia had slipped from a B rating to a C, South Australia and Tasmania remained on a D and the NT was still being assessed.
New South Wales improved from an E plus to a D, Victoria was steady on a C and Queensland climbed from a C minus to a B plus.
By Wendy Caccetta
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