Aboriginal Civil Rights
Aboriginal peoples were forced to endure a tremendous amount of cultural, political, technological and religious change because of British colonization and continuing discrimination by the Australian national government. Thousands of their people were killed in frontier wars with settlers and thousands more died from European diseases such as smallpox and influenza. Today most of their tribal homelands have been taken away by the Australian government and their cultural lifestyle is now confined only on the select few reservations they still own. On top of this the Aborigine peoples still face problems such as: insufficient medical treatment and medicine, lack of proper education, extreme poverty on their reservations, lack of representation in political offices, alcohol and drug abuse and less than sufficient housing. No peoples should be neglected the way indigenous peoples are in today’s world, if anything they deserve our utmost respect. Indigenous peoples such as Aborigines deserve proper health care, better job opportunities, better public school systems and representatives in national governmental affairs, if these requirements are not met then it should be considered an act of human rights deprivation, and U.N. intervention and counseling should be put in place. If Australia and other nations with indigenous populations believe in human rights activism and the equality of all people they will make the well being of native peoples one of their primary domestic affairs.
A History & Background
The Two Sides of the Story
N.G.O's- Foreign and Domestic Aid
The Human rights watch and the Australian government felt agitated at one another after the U.N. criticized Australia about its treatment of aborigines in 2000. Although Australia fully supported indigenous civil rights abroad the human rights watch felt they were not meeting the global standard ("Indigenous peoples’ rights 2). Since then Australia has improved its outreach programs to Aborigines. A group called the “National Congress of Australia’s first people” was set up with help from the Australian national government as a governmental voice for all aboriginals of Australia and the Torres Straight Islands. The National government has also taken attention to the alcohol and substance abuse amidst Aboriginal communities and has sponsored organizations such as the Aboriginal sobriety Group (ASG) and the council for aboriginal alcohol program. Because of lack of proper medicine in aboriginal communities groups like Oxfam Australia, Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association (AIDA) and numerous others such as; Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses (CATSIN),Co-operative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health, Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance (AMSANT),National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organization (NACCHO) and Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of New South Wales have taken action (Links to Human Rights Organizations and Resources 1). Aboriginal media has also grown greatly, some major incorporations include; the National Indigenous Times (NIT) and the Imparja Television network.
Significance and World Impact
For citizens of the United States there is not much we can do to help fix the problems that currently face the aboriginal peoples of Australia, we can however make sure that our fellow citizens know about indigenous cultures outside of the United States and the American continent. We can also make connections between the destructive ways early settlers dealt with the Native American communities in our country to possibly help us understand the challenges the Aboriginal people of Australia have in 2013, and how the Australian government has taken action to help them keep their cultural identity yet still become part of a modernizing country. Making people aware of this issue is the best way to help the Aboriginal people, it is also important to learn about their amazing artwork, storytelling and celebratory traditions that have been around for thousands of years. Aborigine is the oldest still existing society on planet earth it is important to respect them because they can help us understand humanity’s past and help drive it towards a bright new future.
Young, Emma. “The Fight for Aboriginal Civil Rights.” Australian Geographic
(2010):n. pag. Print
“Abolition of the ‘White Australia’ Policy” Immi.gov.au Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship, n.d. Web 6 May 2013. Http://www.immi.gov.au.media/fact-sheets/08abolition.htm.
“Heritage and Culture: Aboriginal culture.” Dia.wa.gov.au. State of Western Australia. n.d. Web. 6 May 2013. Http://www.dia.wa.gov.au/en/Heritage-and-Culture/Aboriginal-culure/
Welch, David. “Introduction to Australia’s Aboriginal Culture.” Aboriginalculture.com.au. Aboriginal Culture. n.d. Web 6 May 2013. Http://www.aboringinalculture.com.au/introduction.shtml.
Jonas, Dr. William. "Information Sheet - Social justice and Human Rights for
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples." Humanrights.gov.au.
Australian Human rights commision, n.d. Web. 8 May 2013.
Cameron, Patsy. "Aboriginal Life Pre-Invasion." Utas.edu.au. University of
Tasmania, n.d. Web. 1 May 2013. <Http://www.utas.edu.au/library/
Brennan, Frank. "Advancing human rights in Australia." Eurekastreet.com.au.
Jesuit Communications Australia, 16 Oct. 2012. Web. 8 May 2013.
Organization Page Sources
“United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.“ 107th plenary meeting 13 September, 2007. New York, New York. 13 Sept. 2007. Address.
"Indigenous peoples’ rights." Human-rights.unglobalcompact.org. United Nations,
n.d. Web. 1 May 2013. <Http://human-rights.unglobalcompact.org/dilemmas/
Shah, Anup. “Australia and Human Rights.” Globalissues.org. Creative Commons, 4 Sept. 2000. Web. 7 May 2013. Http://www.globalissues.org/article/148/australia-and-human-rights.
“Links to Human Rights Organizations and Resources.” Humanrights.gov.au.Australian Human Rights Commission. n.d We. 7 May 2013. Http://www.humanrights.gov.au/links-human-rights-organisations-and-resources#partnerships.
E-Book, Literary and Film Sources
Lake, Mariyln. Faith: Faith Bandler, Gentle Activist. Sydeny: Allen & Unwin, 2003. E-Book.
Broome, Richard. Aboriginal Victorians: A History since 1800. Sydney: Allen &
Unwin, 2005. Print.
Charles Perkins - Freedom Ride. Australian Biography Series. 1999. Film.
Wilkins, Francis. "Travel Column: Australia Through Aboriginal Eyes."
National Geographic 10 Dec. 2004: 1-2. Print.
Golosky, Lauren. "Aboriginal women fight for missing women." HerizonsSpring 2013: 6+. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 6 May 2013