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UN expert on the rights of indigenous peoples announces follow-up visit to Australia

GENEVA (14 March 2017) – The human rights situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in Australia is to be examined by the UN Special Rapporteur, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, who will visit the country from 20 March to 3 April.

During her visit, Ms. Tauli-Corpuz will address a number of diverse issues including measures and policies adopted to reduce indigenous disadvantage, the administration of justice and detention conditions, land rights and native title, prevention of violence against women and the rate of children removed from their homes by officials.

The Special Rapporteur will also review the application of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) and its successor ‘Stronger Futures’ legislation.

Progress made in implementing recommendations made by the previous Special Rapporteur following his country visit to Australia in 2009 will also be studied.

The fifteen days visit is being held at the invitation of the Australian Government and the Special Rapporteur will meet federal and state level officials, as well as parliamentarians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and civil society organisations working for the rights of indigenous peoples. She will also visit indigenous communities to hear directly from them about their issues and concerns.

The independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor, report and advise on the human rights situation of indigenous peoples around the world will travel to Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Victoria and New South Wales.

“This is a timely opportunity for me to encourage stronger engagement and partnerships between the Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their organisations”, Ms. Tauli-Corpuz said.

The Special Rapporteur will present a report of her findings and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2017.

A press conference to share the Special Rapporteur’s preliminary findings will be held on Monday 3 April at 11.30 am, at the UN Information Center, Level 1, 7 National Circuit, Barton, ACT 2600 Australia. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.


The Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (Philippines), is a human rights activist working on indigenous peoples’ rights. Her work for more than three decades has been focused on movement building among indigenous peoples and also among women, and she has worked as an educator-trainer on human rights, development and indigenous peoples in various contexts. She is a member of the Kankana-ey, Igorot indigenous peoples in the Cordillera Region in the Philippines.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

See the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

UN Human Rights, country page: Australia

For more information and media inquiries, please contact:
In Canberra (during the visit): Ms. Julia Dean, UNIC (tel: +61 2 6270 9205 / mobile: +61 433 944 427 / dean@un.org)

During and after the visit: Ms. Christine Evans (+41 22 917 9197 / mobile during the mission +41 79-752 0485/ cevans@ohchr.org) or Ms. Hee-Kyong Yoo (+41 22 917 97 23/ hyoo@ohchr.org), or write to indigenous@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Bryan Wilson, OHCHR Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9826 / mediaconsultant1@ohchr.org)

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