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United Nations

Australian Statement for the Interactive dialogue on the Report on the Work of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 28 September 2021

Human Rights Council – 48th session

Interactive dialogue on the report on the work of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

28 September 2021

Australian Statement

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Thank you Chair.

Australia commends the Expert Mechanism for its studies on self—determination and children. We are pleased to share information about relevant initiatives in Australia.

For example, Australia’s National Agreement on Closing the Gap establishes shared decision-making between Australian governments and Indigenous representatives. The Government is also considering recommendations for an Indigenous Voice - co-designed with Indigenous Australians.

We remain committed to holding a referendum to recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution, once there is consensus on the way forward.

Chair, we recognise that Indigenous children are over-represented in rates of incarceration, youth suicide, child protection and out-of-home care services. Australia is committed to changing this situation, including through Closing the Gap targets.

We note that not all indigenous people around the world have access to digital technology and may be unable to participate in virtual meetings that affect them.

Can the panel elaborate on whether the digital divide is affecting indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination and participation in decision-making processes?

Thank you.

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