The Human Rights Law Centre welcomes the announcement by the Turnbull Government of a Royal Commission into youth detention in the Northern Territory, but expresses extreme disappointment over the lack of consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.
“This Royal Commission represents a great opportunity for change. But the support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, particularly those in the NT, is critical to the impact, credibility and legitimacy of the Royal Commission,” said Ruth Barson, Director of Legal Advocacy at the HRLC.
27 July 2016
Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull’s announcement of a royal commission into the abuse of children in Northern Territory jails gives an insight into his instincts on human rights. Turnbull said he was “deeply shocked” and “appalled” by the footage aired by Four Corners and acted swiftly in calling the inquiry. It was decisive action that shows the potential Turnbull has to lead on human rights more broadly.
The Northern Territory has the highest rate of youth detention in Australia. It locks children up at almost five times the national average. Monday night’s Four Corners episode also revealed that cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is endemic in its principal youth detention facility.
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