"I think it's okay ... but it's racist, it's bad racism": Aboriginal children and young people's views about the Intervention

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Field research conducted in the Northern Territory sought Aboriginal
children and young people’s views about the ‘Intervention’ and revealed
the impact of these measures on their lives, on Aboriginal peoples and
in Aboriginal communities. Research participants articulated detailed
knowledge about the Intervention and expressed their nuanced views
about two key measures: income management through the BasicsCard, and
alcohol regulation through the ‘blue and white warning signs’ that were
placed at the entrance to all prescribed communities. Most participants
said the BasicsCard positively impacted aspects of their lives, yet nearly
all participants were unaware that the BasicsCard targeted Aboriginal
peoples and upon learning this children and young people assessed the
measure as ‘bad racism’. Participants unanimously agreed that the blue
and white warning signs were an ineffective regulatory measure that
negatively impacted their lives by ‘shaming’ communities and making
them ‘look bad’.
This research is significant because it (a) presents the first academic
accounts from Aboriginal children and young people detailing their views
about the Intervention; (b) demonstrates Aboriginal children and young
people’s agency and capacity to express informed views about complex
matters such as legislation and policy; and (c) shows that the involvement
of Aboriginal children and young people in the design of laws and policies
likely to affect them is not only the Australian government’s responsibility
under art 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Australia’s
obligation under art 19 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples, but is an effective and necessary precondition for the development
of relevant, culturally appropriate and durable laws and policies that
advance Aboriginal children and young people’s human rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-112
Number of pages37
JournalMonash University Law Review
Volume43
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Children's rights
  • Indigenous children and young people
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Article 12
  • Law and Policy
  • The Intervention
  • Northern Territory Emergency Response
  • Stronger Futures Legislation
  • Children's Participation

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