The Bringing Them Home Committee (WA) Inc. (BTHWA) have welcomed the prompt action by the PM to establish a Royal Commission into the shocking situation at juvenile detention centres in the Northern Territory following the revelations on last night’s Four Corners program. They have, however, called for the Terms of Reference to include an examination of the Recommendations of previous Inquiries such as the 1987 Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody and the Bringing Them Home Report, which was tabled in Federal Parliament in 1997.
“Both of these landmark reports were produced over 20 years ago but very few of the recommendations have been implemented” according to BTHWA Co-Convenor, Jim Morrison.
“Sadly, Commonwealth and State Governments have a record of instigating Royal Commissions or Human Rights Commission Inquiries into issues such as deaths in custody or the Stolen Generations but they rarely demonstrate the political will to implement the recommendations!”
“There is no questions that appalling mistreatment of juveniles in detention in the NT needs to be examined as a matter of urgency to ensure that it does not happen again, but governments around Australia need to start taking action to reduce the massive over representation of Aboriginal people in juvenile detention centres in prison around this country.”
“Until the root causes of this tragic situation are dealt with and programs, such as the healing initiatives being pursued by BTHWA, are put in place to deal with them, we will continue to see the tragedies so frighteningly illustrated on Four Corners last night and our First Nation people will continue to fall into a tragic spiral of despair” Mr Morrison concluded.
Further comment: Jim Morrison: 0408 917 133
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