One of Australia’s leading social researchers is highly critical of the law and order approach being adopted by the Federal Government to address child sexual abuse in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities.
Professor of Social Work at Charles Sturt University (CSU) Margaret Alston is urging caution about the current actions being taken. She says radical action to this situation is called for, but this must begin from a welfare and community development perspective.
“The Federal Government’s suggested approach runs counter to the UN Convention on human rights of Indigenous peoples. We are only one generation away from the mistakes of the Stolen Generation, “ Professor Alston said this morning. “We need to ensure we are not creating a similar situation with this action.
Professor Alston agrees with other social research academics who argue that what is needed is not surveillance and invasion of rights but strong and detailed attention to community enhancement and infrastructure as recommended by Indigenous community leaders.
Visit CSU News for the rest of Professor Alston’s statement.
The report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse 2007 titled Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle – Little Children are Sacred is available online here. The report is also accessible via the Library’s catalogue.