Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Discrimination in Australia

Wesley Spearman
Note by Wesley Spearman, updated more than 1 year ago
Wesley Spearman
Created by Wesley Spearman about 3 years ago


A level Geography (Health, Human Rights and Intervention) Note on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Discrimination in Australia, created by Wesley Spearman on 04/22/2018.

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Causality: links between equality and human rights, health and education Inequality: variations in human rights within countries   Who are the ATSI? Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Avg life expectancy ~10 yrs lower than non-indigenous Australians 70 yrs compared to 80 yrs Have AUS's highest levels of drug and alcohol abuse, and homelessness Seeing their traditional lifestyles disappearing How have the ATSI been discriminated against? Racial Discrimination Act makes racial hatred an offence and protects ATSI peoples against discrimination in: Employment Getting a job/working conditions/promotion/dismissal Education Enrolling for/studying a course Accommodation Renting/buying a house/apartment Getting/using services Banks/insurers/government departments/transport or telecom services/doctors/restaurants/shops Accessing public places Parks/govenment offices/restaurants/shopping centres Social justice - recognising the distinctive rights of ATSIs Before 1967, ATSIs not considered to be Australian citizens Later that year, voting & citizenship rights for ATSIs written into constitution. Before these changes, ATSI peoples couldn't... Vote, gain political representation or participate in shaping the country Legally own property until 1975, many were forced to live on 'reserves' until 1971 Raise their children (in some cases) ATSI children were removed by the Australian authorities to be raised in 'civilised' white communities. These children became known as the 'stolen generations'. This practice didn't end until 1970. ATSI Inequality Indicators 2011 - 43.8% ATSIs lived in remote areas 2.2% non-ATSIs 2014 - ATSI rate of imprisonment 15x higher than non-ATSI 2014 - 41% ATSI adults smoked 13.8% non-ATSI 2014 - unemployment rate 3x higher than non-ATSI 2015 - 30% ATSI adults lacked basic literacy skills By 2011, 54% ATSIs aged 20-24 achieved Australian equivalent of A-levels Health Issues 2016 report by HealthInfoNet, an NGO, found that ATSIs often lack: Good (or any) employment opportunities Safety Access to decent education Connections to family and friends Enough money to get by on a day-to-day basis 'Closing the Gap' initiative 2005-2012: life expectancy gap for ATSI men closed by 0.8 yrs, closed by 1 yrs for ATSI women 1998-2012: death rates from circulatory diseases reduced by 45%, death rates from respiratory diseases reduced by 27% 2008-2012: death rates from all avoidable causes 3x higher than non-ATSIs 1998-2012: ATSI infant mortality reduced by 64% Education Issues 20% compulsory school-age ATSI children not enrolled Many ATSI children enrolled do not attend regularly ATSI parents suspicious of official institutions so refuse to enroll their children 78% ATSI children chieved required literacy standards at age of 8 Compared to 95% non-ATSI children In Northern Territory, 42% ATSI children reached required literacy standard How is the Prime Minister attempting to promote anti-racism and equal rights? Entitlement of all Australians to enjoy equal rights National immigration policy that is non-discriminatory Reconciliation with ATSI people Maintenance of Australia as a culturally diverse and open society Denouncing racial intolerance

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