IAAR Action in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights

Indigenous Australians Against Racism (IAAR) in conjunction with supporters in the Trade Union Movement and elsewhere has over the preceding 4 years been collecting statements from Indigenous Australians who have been the victims of Human Rights violations committed by Australia’s Law Enforcement and Government Officials.

While the Rudd Government and the various State and Territory Governments around Australia would like to us all to believe that human rights violations against Indigenous Australians ceased in the 1930’s or at the very latest the 1940’s this is not the case.

The methodology employed by the IAAR when collecting Victim Statements was to limit the people from whom we took statements to those who’d been victims of  human rights violations between the year 2000 and the present. The IAAR further filtered these statements by excluding those people who had had charges proved against them on more than one separate occasion.

After taking a victim’s statement, the IAAR then looked for independent and verifiable evidence to support the victim’s allegations. As a further filter the IAAR has only included statements where the alleged incidents have been independently substantiated by third parties. The third parties the IAAR has taken supporting statements from include priests, doctors, social workers, Justices of the Peace and foreign tourists.

The IAAR currently has approximately 2,000 victim statements and 8,400 supporting statements. At this stage it is proposed that members of the IAAR will present these statements and its findings to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights when it has completed the information gathering and vetting process.

The IAAR has had preliminary discussions with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

The Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights has provided the IAAR with details on the procedures and mechanisms for bringing a matter or matters to the attention of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

On the reverse of this sheet in “nut-shell” format is an outline of the United Nations framework of mechanisms of Indigenous peoples issues, which the IAAR will be relying on to bring these matters before the International Community.

Procedures and mechanisms

Commission on Human Rights procedures and mechanisms are mandated to examine, monitor and publicly report either on human rights situations in specific countries or territories (known as country mechanisms or mandates) or on major phenomena of human rights violations worldwide (known as thematic mechanisms or mandates). These procedures and mechanisms are collectively referred to as the Special Procedures of the Commission on Human Rights.

United Nations framework of mechanisms of Indigenous peoples issues
The United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations;The United Nations Commission on Human Rights Working Group elaborating a Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous PeoplesPermanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; andSpecial Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples
Relevant instruments
International TreatiesConvention concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries (ILO No. 169);International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;Convention on the Rights of the Child;Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and

Convention on Biological Diversity

Declarations

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and

Organisation of American States Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Other Indigenous Declarations

Indigenous Peoples Cancun Declaration on the WTO;

Indigenous Peoples Seattle Declaration on Mining;

Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women; and

The Kimberley Declaration, International Indigenous Peoples Summit on Sustainable Development

Declaration of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change, Second International Indigenous Forum on Climate Change (The Hague, 15 November 2000)

All of the Human Rights Violations identified by the IAAR as having been committed by Australian Law Enforcement and Government Officials against Aboriginal Australians fall into the criteria set out in Article II (a) to (e) of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948.

It is the avowed intention of the IAAR to identify, validate and present to the world every instance of Human Rights Violations committed against Aboriginal Australians by Australian Law Enforcement and Government Officials since 2000.

The following table presents the number and types of Human Rights Violations against Aboriginal Australians identified and verified by the IAAR as at November 2008:

VIOLATION NUMBER OF VICTIMS
Sexual Assault (Rape) (Female) 387
Sexual Penetration Foreign Object (Female) 167
Sexual Penetration Foreign Object (Male) 436
Assault AABH (Female) 678
Assault AABH (Male) 987
Murder/Unlawful Killing (Female) 4
Murder/Unlawful Killing (Male) 12
Supply Drug Of Dependence (Police Officer) 427
Supply Drug Of Dependence (Other Govt.) 897
Causing serious mental harm 987
Forcibly removing children of the group to another group 356
Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group 139

This data forms a substantial part of the research for my PhD titled Corruption and Racism in the Australian Federal Police and the death of Australia’s democracy.