Thankyou Mr Vice President,
I am Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.I am making this statement on behalf of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Australia’s ‘A status’ NHRI.
I thank the Special Rapporteurs on Violence Against Women and trafficking for their reports.
I welcome Australia’s commitment to preventing and responding to violence against women.
The structural inequality and systemic racism Indigenous women continue to face in Australia today exposes them to vulnerable situations and results in alarmingly disproportionate levels of trauma which are passed on to our future generations.
Last year, as part of my Wiyi Yani U Thangani project, I heard directly from over 2000 Indigenous women about their strengths, aspirations and challenges for the full enjoyment of their human rights.
These women talked about the need for government to take a fundamentally different approach to working with Indigenous peoples in Australia, an approach that would enable them and their families to determine their own futures, to rebuild the societal fabric which the colonisation process has torn, and to break the cycles of trauma and violence in their communities.
As we celebrate the 25th year of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and Girls, I urge the Australian Government to listen to the voices of Indigenous women, to support initiatives which are community-led, strengths-based, and trauma-informed, and to make adequate and timely investments into measures focused on effective prevention.
I would welcome the Special Rapporteur’s views on sharing best practices to address the underlying factors which have resulted in disproportionate rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls across the globe.