Australia’s human rights record has been “woeful rather than exemplary”, National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples co-chair Jackie Huggins has told a United Nations forum.
She said statements by Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade about Australia’s proud human rights record and support for Indigenous people was “hypocritical in the extreme”.
Independent Northern Territory MP Yingiya Mark Guyula, a Yolngu leader from Arnhem Land, asked the UN to intervene on the behalf of Aboriginal people.
He told the UN Yolngu people had very little control or autonomy and their collective rights were being destroyed by government licensing regimes, the inability to contest government land council decisions and policies that were forcing Yolngu people into hub towns.
“My people are crying out for justice and we are not being heard,” Mr Guyula said.