#Human Rights
Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at the UN

Legislation currently before the Commonwealth Government includes plans to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act which was suspended when the Intervention was introduced into the Northern Territory in June, 2007.

However, this new Act will be a very restricted version to the one which was suspended in 2007. It will NOT have the powers to protect Aboriginal people from the consequences of so-called special measures.

For example, when the RDA was suspended, Aboriginal people had no means of appeal against compulsory acquisition of their land by government on 5-year leases. When this new Act is reinstated, NOTHING WILL CHANGE. There will be no legal avenue to address this issue, or any other issue related to the measures.

Regarding the 5-year leases, former High Court Justice, Michael Kirby, said, "if any other Australians, selected by reference to their race, suffered the imposition on their pre-existing property interests of non-consensual 5-year statutory leases.......it is difficult to believe that a challenge to such a law would fail...."

If this new legislation is implemented, the government will have again failed to keep its promise to Aboriginal people.

Calls to the Australian Government to reinstate an uncompromised Racial Discrimination Act have been ignored.

For Australia to be classified as a racist country is shameful for all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

If you wish to assist by conducting your own hard-copy petition, please indicate this in the comments column Thank you.

'concerned Australians'

UPDATE 10 July 2010

Thank you to all who signed this petition. The same petition was also circulated in hard copy and the total number of signatures received was 5,404. The petitions were sent every three or four days over the last two months to the Committee for the Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at the UN.

There were many signatures from the Northern Territory and this included signatures from almost forty communities: : Willowra, Kalkaringi, Daguragi, Yuendumu, Lajamanu, Utopia, Papunya, Kintore, Nyiripi, Areyonga, Docker River, Ulpanydi, Ti Tree, Santa Theresa, Hermannsburg, Ali Curong, Barron Creek, Mt. Allan, Ampilatwatja, Epenarra, Mungalwurra, Katliwumpa Homeland, Maningrida, Nakara, Mataranka, Galiwin’ku, Nhulunbuy, Tiwi, Yirrkala, Bama, Mairrngatja, Gangan, Raymangirr, Buymarr, Djarrkpi, Baly Baly, Dhalinybuy, Imangara, Suburbs of Alice Springs, Darwin, Katherine and Tennant Creek.

The seventy-seventh session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination will be held at the United Nations Office in Geneva in August 2010. The Australian Government will report to the Committee on the 10th and 11th of the month and non-government organisations, including ‘concerned Australians’ will also provide reports. If you wish to send your own comments to the Committee expressing your own concerns, the email address to write to is ghabtom@ ohchr.org

To the Secretary of the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

We, the undersigned, call upon the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) at the UN to press for the Reinstatement of an UNRESTRICTED and UNCONDITIONAL Racial Discrimination Act that will provide FULL protection for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.

The An Unrestricted Racial Discrimination Act for the Northern Territory petition to Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at the UN was written by 'concerned Australians' and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.