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Recommendations: Social Justice Report 2009

Social Justice Report 2009


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In accordance with the functions set out in section 46C(1) (a) of the
Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth), this report includes 4
recommendations on justice reinvestment to reduce Indigenous over-representation
in the criminal justice system, 7 recommendations for the protection of
Indigenous languages and 1 recommendation for sustaining Aboriginal homeland

Justice reinvestment

Recommendation 1: That the Australian Government, through COAG, set
criminal justice targets that are integrated into the Closing the Gap

Recommendation 2: That the Standing Committee of Attorneys
General Working Party identify justice reinvestment as a priority issue
under the National Indigenous Law and Justice Framework, with the aim of
conducting pilot projects in targeted communities in the short term.

Recommendation 3: That the Australian Social Inclusion Board,
supported by the Social Inclusion Unit, add justice reinvestment as a key
strategy in the social inclusion agenda.

Recommendation 4: That all state and territory governments consider
justice reinvestment in tandem with their plans to build new prisons. That a
percentage of funding that is targeted to prison beds be diverted to trial
communities where there are high rates of Indigenous offenders.

Indigenous languages

In order to implement Article 13 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples
and in recognition that the Australian Government has a
strategic role in Indigenous language preservation, that the Australian
Government commit to the

Recommendation 5: Immediately fund a national working group with the
task of establishing a national Indigenous languages body as per the commitment
of Indigenous Languages – A National

Recommendation 6: Commit to the development of a national Indigenous
languages body with functions and responsibilities similar to those of the
Māori Language Commission.

Recommendation 7: Utilise the expertise of the national body to assess
the required resources for critically endangered languages and commit these
resources immediately.

Recommendation 8: Agree to resource an ongoing plan of action for the
preservation and promotion of Indigenous languages as recommended by the
national Indigenous languages body.

Recommendation 9: Become a signatory to the Convention for the
Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

Recommendation 10: Through the Council of Australian Governments
(COAG), develop agreements with all governments to ensure consistency and
compliance with Australia’s Indigenous Languages – A National

Recommendation 11: Commence a process to recognise Indigenous
languages in the preamble of Australia’s Constitution with a view to
recognising Indigenous languages in the body of the Constitution in future.

Sustaining Aboriginal homeland communities

Recommendation 12: In order to implement the UN Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples
, particularly Articles 3, 11, 12, 20 and
21, that the Australian and Northern Territory Governments commit to:

  • Review the Working Future policy with the active participation of
    representative leaders from homeland communities
  • Develop and implement
    future homeland policies with the active participation of leaders from homeland
    communities and
  • Provide funding and support for homeland communities in
    all states and territories through the COAG National Indigenous Reform Agreement
    and associated National Partnership Agreements.

[1]UN Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples
2007, art 13. 1: Indigenous peoples have the
right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their
histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and
literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places
and persons. At (viewed 25 September 2009).
[2] Australian Government Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Indigenous Languages – A National Approach. The importance of
Australia's Indigenous languages
. At (viewed 3 September 2009).