Social media elevates 10th Indigenous Day

The United Nations is marking International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples today with a Twitter campaign.

The campaign will continue into September for the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Together with Twitter, the UN has come up with a special emoji that will be live until September 15.

Ten hashtags will activate the emoji. The conversation can be joined by tweeting and including any of the following: #WeAreIndigenous #SomosIndígenas #autochtones #IndigenousDay #UNDRIP #DIPI2017 #PueblosIndígenas #DíaPueblosIndígenas #SomosIndígenas #SoyIndígena.

People can also follow the conversation on @UN4Indigenous, @UN, and @UNICCanberra and on Twitter’s  @Policy, @TwitterGov, @TwitterAU and @TwitterLatAm

Meanwhile the United Nations said that 10 years after its Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, not enough had changed.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 September 2007, establishing a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples, and Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, said in a joint statement: “The declaration, which took more than 20 years to negotiate, stands today as a beacon of progress, a framework for reconciliation and a benchmark of rights.

“But a decade on, we need to acknowledge the vast challenges that remain. In too many cases, Indigenous peoples are now facing even greater struggles and rights violations than they did 10 years ago.”

Children need greater protection

Meanwhile the Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat has urged Australians to remember and respect Aboriginal children’s rights to their culture.

“Many Australians still don’t know that Indigenous peoples’ rights to practise and perpetuate their culture are protected in the declaration,” said Tim Ireland, CEO of AbSec, the Aboriginal child and family peak body for NSW.

“The declaration also calls for particular attention to the rights of children, and for special measures to protect children against discrimination.

“Australia didn’t actually sign the declaration when it was made 10 years ago – it took us until 2009 to endorse it. And we’re still lagging behind when it comes to the self-determination and equality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

Mr Ireland said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were being removed from their families at about 9.5 times more often than non-Indigenous children.

“When our children are torn from their families and communities, they lose cultural connections that are central to their sense of identity. And our culture – a proud culture that has survived for tens of thousands of years – loses a precious member of its next generation,” he said.

Wendy Caccetta

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