The President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs has criticised Australia’s treatment of its First Nations Peoples.
"Even with good faith and political will, we are still failing to achieve the outcomes that we need to for our First Nations Peoples," she said.
The 659-page Human Rights Watch World Report summarises key human rights issues in more than 90 countries, drawing on events from 2014-2015.
It highlights the continued injustice faced by Indigenous Australians and the failings of Government to ‘Close the Gap’.
For example, Aboriginal and Toress Strait Islanders
- Still live 10-12 years less than non-Indigenous people,
- Have an infant mortality rate that is two times higher than non-Indigenous people,
- Disproportionately represent Australia’s prison population, and
- Represent more than half of all child detainees in the country.
The report also found that Indigenous youth in detention were subjected to “isolation in cramped quarters, sometimes for nearly three weeks at a time, as well as to excessive use of force."
Professor Triggs described this as a "shocking and disgraceful fact”, but says asylum seekers are far worse off.
“Asylum seekers are being effectively imprisoned in horrendous conditions and thousands of them are being detained indefinitely without access to the courts, and that is certainly not true for Indigenous Australians,” she said.
The report heavily criticised Australia’s approach to asylum seekers and new counter-terrorism laws.
It also identifies a lack of disability services nationwide, especially for women who experience higher rates of violence.
The Human Rights Watch Executive Director, Kenneth Roth says fear is what drives people to seek global change.
Watch his summary of the 2016 World Report below.