Family violence and commonwealth laws - Indigenous peoples

Law Social issues Families Crime Indigenous health Australia

This information sheet discusses the ALRC Commonwealth Family Violence Inquiry and briefly outlines some of the ALRC’s key recommendations aimed at better protecting the safety of Indigenous peoples who are experiencing family violence. Further detail about these recommendations can be found in the Final Report, Family Violence and Commonwealth Laws—Improving Legal Frameworks, ALRC Report 117 (2011).

In the Final Report, the ALRC uses the terms ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ or ‘Indigenous communities’ or ‘Indigenous peoples’, which are consistent with the terminology adopted by various organisations.

Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders are referred to as ‘peoples’. This recognises that Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders have a collective, rather than purely individual, dimension to their livelihoods. … The use of the term ‘Indigenous’ has evolved through international law. (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Social Justice Report (2009), vi.)

This is affirmed under international law principles and by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. ‘Indigenous women’ and ‘Indigenous children’ also reflect this terminology.

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