Calls for greater cooperation to tackle child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities
Federal Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda along with the Australian Human Rights Commission welcomed the NSW Ombudsman's report on child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities and its recommendations. The report highlights the importance of a harmonized approach to identify children at risk of harm and the need for early intervention. It emphasises the need to look at and address the broader issues of disadvantage, including poor health, education and employment outcomes, and the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in the child protection and criminal justice systems.
"Sexual assault is unacceptable and is not part of Aboriginal culture. As a society, our main aim should be to protect our children from all forms of abuse, but we also need to heal our victims and hold perpetrators accountable. To do this we must address the causal factors and not just the symptoms." Commissioner Gooda said.
Consistent with the NSW Ombudsman's report, Commissioner Gooda said: "it's important to tackle the underlying causes that are responsible for child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities. The issue cannot be tackled in isolation; a broader approach is required to address the root of the problem".