Australia rapped for violating aborigine rights


Amnesty International has slammed the Australian government's inability to tackle the poverty the country's aborigines are facing.

The London-based organization's visiting Secretary-General Irene Khan said on Wednesday that the conditions aboriginals are facing are deeply disturbing and require a new approach.

"In the heart of the First World, I saw scenes more reminiscent of the Third World - of countries torn by war, dominated by repressive regimes or racked by corruption," AP quoted Khan, a Bangladesh-born lawyer, as saying.

She underlined that the aborigines are suffering from the violation of their basic human rights.

"... This violation occurs on a continent of such privilege that it is not merely disheartening, it is deeply disturbing."

The Amnesty boss said she was surprised to witness first hand the extent of their poverty.

"They feel disempowered, robbed of their dignity, threatened with the loss of their identity and attacked on their own ancestral lands."

The UN had also criticized the Australian government's policies towards aboriginal communities earlier this year.

The life expectancy of indigenous Australians is 17 years lower than that of other Australians.

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