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Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Visit Australia

29 September 2023

GENEVA (29 September 2023) - The United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) will undertake a visit to Australia from 1 to 10 October 2023.

The purpose of the visit is to provide advice in relation to the contemporary removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families and communities. The rights of these communities are contained in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in particular Article 2 (non-discrimination), Articles 3 and 4 (self-determination), Article 8 (forced assimilation), and Article 10 (removal of people from traditional lands and territories).

The upcoming visit will be undertaken in response to a request from the Noongar Family Safety and Wellbeing Council in the State of Western Australia under the Expert Mechanism’s amended mandate, Human Rights Council Resolution 33/25.

During their mission, members of the Expert Mechanism will visit the cities Perth, Albany and Geraldton in Western Australia where they will hold bilateral and multilateral meetings with several stakeholders including federal and state authorities, civil society organizations, members of communities and affected families.

This is the fourth country engagement mission to be undertaken by the Expert Mechanism under its amended mandate. Previous country engagement missions included Finland, (February 2018), Mexico (February 2019), and New Zealand (April 2019.) The Expert Mechanism also engaged with Brazil in 2020 online and with Sweden and Mexico on the repatriation of the spiritual object Yaqui Maaso Kova.

The Expert Mechanism will issue a statement at the end of its visit.

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Background: the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) is a subsidiary body of the United Nations Human Rights Council mandated to provide the Council with expertise and advice on the rights of indigenous peoples as set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and assist Member States, upon request, in implementing the rights in the Declaration through the promotion, protection and fulfilment of the rights of indigenous peoples.

Further information on the Expert Mechanism, can be found here.

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For further inquiries and media requests, please contact: Belen Rodriguez de Alba at [email protected] and Pascal Sim at [email protected]