An article in The Age opines "AUSTRALIA'S reluctance to sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People makes a mockery of our supposed renewed commitment to addressing the welfare of indigenous Australians. This month the UN General Assembly adopted the declaration, which reaffirms that indigenous people are entitled to all human rights recognised in international law without discrimination.
Australia opposed the declaration. How could this be so at a time when we have become so acutely aware of the health, welfare and social issues that plague our indigenous communities?
In Australia, indigenous children are more likely to be taken into state care than other children. They are more likely to become homeless and more likely to end up in jail.
Yet our Government has refused to sign a declaration that explicitly provides for the protection of indigenous women and children against violence..."
We have been poorly served by a over a decade of toadying up to the US administration in ignoring human rights considerations in responding to international developments in key welfare reform. Indigenous affairs is probably the most egregious area of neglect, undermining reconciliation progress.