Statement by the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on the Don Dale Youth Detention Center (NT, Australia)
Statement from Mr. Alvaro Pop Ac, Chair of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and Professor Megan Davis, Member of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on the Don Dale Youth Detention Center (NT, Australia)
We would like to categorically reject and denounce the brutalizing treatment of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children at the Don Dale Youth Detention Center in the Northern Territory, Australia. The treatment carried out to children in this facility include extended periods of solitary confinement and humiliating procedures that further exacerbate their distress and alienate them from successful rehabilitation or reintegration to society. All of this within tiny cells with no access to natural sunlight or running water.
As a signatory of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment and of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Government of Australia should, by all means necessary, comply with the stipulations herein and immediately halt the inappropriate treatment of children at Don Dale. Furthermore, as most of the detainees are Aboriginal children and given that Australia has endorsed the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, steps should be taken to ensure that indigenous peoples are involved in all processes of the investigation of the situation at Don Dale, and to make sure that authorities implement a juvenile detention system that considers the needs and cultural appropriate methods for the rehabilitation of Aboriginal children.
We call upon the Government of Australia to immediately halt the use of excessive force and prolonged mistreatment of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children at the Don Dale Youth Detention Center and similar ones in the region, and to investigate similar cases in the Northern Territory and around the country.