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ACT response to action to protect indigenous children disappointing.

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22 June 2007

ACT response to action to protect indigenous children disappointing

Federal Attorney General Philip Ruddock today expressed disappointment over the ACT Chief Minister’s objections to the Howard Government’s National Emergency Response to protect Aboriginal Children in the NT.

“I am disappointed by the comments of the ACT Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, that the Australian Government’s plan to address the unique problem of indigenous child abuse is “racist”,” Mr Ruddock said.

“The most fundamental human right is contained in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the right to life, liberty and security of person.

“The Australian Government is taking action which can be properly characterised under the Racial Discrimination Act as “special measures”, aimed at ensuring the most vulnerable in our Indigenous communities enjoy fundamental human rights which many of us take for granted.

“All action at the national level is designed to ensure the protection of Aboriginal children from harm.

“Having been informed of the terrible plight of these children we have to act quickly and would like the co-operation of all governments.”

Media Contact: Sarah Stock 0419 278 715