SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle said calls by the Opposition Leader for a Royal Commission into the sexual abuse of Aboriginal children were an uninformed response to an issue raised with successive Governments over many years.
Ms Liddle said the evidence did not support claims by Mr Dutton that Aboriginal children were being left in unsafe conditions because of fears of creating another Stolen Generation.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were 11.5 times more likely to be in out-of-home care than non-Indigenous children in 2021
- Sexual abuse was the reason for a substantiation of harm in only 7% of cases for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, compared to 10% for non-Indigenous children.
- Neglect is a far greater reason for removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (31% of substantiations of harm, compared to 21% for non-Indigenous children)
“The reality is our children are being removed from family at ever higher and unacceptable rates,” Ms Liddle said.
“This is not because they are not loved or somehow Aboriginal people don’t know how to raise children. We have done that successfully for 60 thousand years.
“It is because of poverty, systemic racism and the lack of appropriate supports available to vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
“What we know is years of failure to invest in and reform early childhood, child protection and family support systems is continuing to have devastating impacts for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
“One visit to Alice Springs does not give the Opposition Leader an informed perspective about the issue of abuse or indeed about the complexity of the issues we face.
“And it certainly doesn’t give him insight into the work and solutions being driven by Aboriginal people and organisations.
“Our children should not be used as political footballs.
“SNAICC is more than happy to brief the Opposition Leader about the evidence and the work we and many others are doing to make sure our children grow up healthy, safe and connected to culture and family.”
Media Contact: Mandy Taylor, 0414 634 159