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Aboriginal news First Nations Telegraph | Opinion/Improving human rights for child

4.8.16

Aboriginal news First Nations Telegraph | Opinion/Improving human rights for child: Australia is a signatory to the UN Covenant Against Torture but it has not ratified the Optional Protocol to the CAT that requires states to ensure that protective mechanisms are implemented, safeguarding prisoners, including children, from such abuse. We must ratify OPCAT due to the harsh reality that Aboriginal people, men, women and children are grossly overrepresented in detention.



Western Australia and Northern Territory incarcerate at extreme levels and have done so for decades. According to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of West Australia, Aboriginal incarceration is 70% higher than the national rate (notwithstanding that we have make up only 3% of the state population). The next highest level of incarceration is in the Northern Territory (West Australia is still about 30% higher level of incarceration than the NT). The rate of incarceration of women in WA is fast rising and faster than men, and the rate for children and youth is about 58% times higher than for non-Aboriginal children. Most detained Aboriginal children graduate to the adult criminal justice system.


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