Monday, September 26, 2016

NT Detention Center Update: UN Slams Australia Over Mistreating Children

NT Detention Center Update: UN Slams Australia Over Mistreating Children

Flickr/3F @3fountains

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Following the NT detention center child abuse scandal, the United Nations has slammed Australia for tolerating the mistreatment of children.

The revelation of the “brutalizing treatment” video of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children at the Don Dale detention center has been criticized by the permanent forum on indigenous issues. The matter is soon to be presented to a royal commission specifically formed to handle it. Several people stepped out for rallies in major cities throughout the nation on Saturday.

Through the protests, the crowd showed their discontentment over the mistreatment of children being publicized via a video. “We call upon the government of Australia to immediately halt the use of excessive force and prolonged mistreatment,” forum chair Alvaro Pop said in a statement.

After the ABC telecast the video of the children being tear gassed and abused at the NT detention center, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced an inquiry into the matter. However, he seemed to refuse demands for a national inquiry into the child abuse issue. The protest happened ahead of the meeting scheduled between Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on Thursday.

The agenda of the meet, which is the first after Aussie elections 2016, is to discuss the referendum relating to the recognition to be given to the Aboriginal community in the Australian constitution.

Where Turnbull decided to have no national inquiry on the NT detention center matter, the United Nations has reacted to the issue. The UN Human Rights High Commission demanded a compensation for the abused children from Australia on Friday. “We are shocked by the video footage that has emerged from Don Dale youth detention center in the Northern Territory,” the UN Human Rights office of High Commission said in a statement.

“We call on the authorities to identify those who committed abuses against the children and to hold them responsible for such acts… Compensation should also be provided.”

According to Reuters‘ report, the UN has also asked the Australian government to sanction the Optional Protocol to Convention Against Torture. This would enable independent investigators to examine the detention facilities and work without bias.