Tamsen Territory

The U.N. Declaration of Indigenous Land and Financial Rights

Australia has overwhelmingly turned its back on “The Voice” referendum proposal for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but the country still faces possible political pressures from the United Nations’ by way of its Declaration on Indigenous Rights.

In 2007, the then Prime Minister, Mr Kevin Rudd, signed the Declaration on behalf of our country, laying down the “freedoms” due to our non-White populations.

The U.N. Declaration demands that all Indigenous people must be given just, fair and equitable compensation for lands confiscated, taken, occupied, used or damaged.”

It adds that all these peoples have the additional “ownership right to all lands, territories and resources they have traditionally owned, occupied, used or acquired” (from Government land and other claims and sources.)

The Declaration goes further by determining that all States in the world with historic Indigenous people, such as Australia, must provide general redress (to these people) which may include some form of “restitution.”

The U.N. also establishes that all Indigenous citizens can seek autonomous self-determination within their home countries and can develop relations and co-operation with other Indigenous people across geographical borders.

Yet another right highlighted by the U.N. document is the Indigenous “right to control educational systems providing education in their own language/s” and the right to administer health and housing by their own institutions.”

All U.N. member States cannot involve traditional Indigenous areas with armed service activities and must demilitarise any army or navy operations in Indigenous lands and territories.

The U.N. contends in the Declaration that the “inherent rights” of Indigenous people need “urgent attention” and have to be affirmed within official treaties and agreements with the Governments involved.

This particular U.N. Declaration was adopted in 2007 and is said to be the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of Indigenous people.
It also reportedly establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of our Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander citizens and “ensures” their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
According to the U.N., the declaration is particularly significant to Australia as our Aboriginal and Torres Straight people were involved in its drafting.
Australia’s Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar A.O., has reported to the U.N. that she now uses the declaration as her working guide.