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Australia: UN envoy denounced after he describes Northern Territory “intervention” as racist

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:14 AM
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Australia: UN envoy denounced after he describes Northern Territory “intervention” as racist
All factions of the Australia’s political establishment came together last month to condemn James Anaya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights, after he described the federal government’s Northern Territory Emergency Response or “intervention”, as racist and discriminatory...

The intervention was initiated by the former Howard government with Labor Party support in June 2007 under the claim that it was to protect Aboriginal children ...from child abuse.

The legislation, which has been maintained by the Labor government, includes the compulsory “income management” of Aboriginal welfare and pensions, suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act and the seizure of Aboriginal-controlled land. The measures have nothing to do with protecting indigenous children but were initiated to assist corporate Australia gain access to valuable Aboriginal land, cheap labour and to trial-run welfare cost-cutting policies on NT indigenous communities...

Anaya told the media...the intervention...violated various human rights conventions and treaties...his criticisms were limited and diplomatically couched. The official response to his comments, however, was immediate and universally hostile... Mal Brough, intervention architect and indigenous affairs minister...said he was “sick and tired” of people like Anaya “pontificating about human rights” and “telling us that we’ve offended some law.” ...The Murdoch media was in full flight...Australian commentator Janet Albrechtsen launched into Anaya with a diatribe blaming Aborigines for the social conditions...focusing on “the need for indigenous people to be accountable for the crimes of violence and neglect so rampant in their communities.”

...Confronted with the impact of the global financial crisis on its budget bottom line, the Rudd government is preparing to extend this and other socially regressive measures to all welfare recipients. That is why the media and political establishment are so sensitive to any criticism of the regressive NT intervention...

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/sep2009/nter-s16.shtm...

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