I Think It’s Okay … But It’s Racist, It’s Bad Racism' — Aboriginal Children and Young People’s Views about the Intervention
journal contributionposted on 29.10.2019, 09:37 authored by Holly Doel-Mackaway
Field research conducted in the Northern Territory sought Aboriginal children and young people’s views about the ‘Intervention’ and revealed the impact of these measures on their lives, on Aboriginal peoples and in Aboriginal communities. Research participants articulated detailed knowledge about the Intervention and expressed their nuanced views about two key measures: income management through the BasicsCard, and alcohol regulation through the ‘blue and white warning signs’ that were placed at the entrance to all prescribed communities. Most participants said the BasicsCard positively impacted aspects of their lives, yet nearly all participants were unaware that the BasicsCard targeted Aboriginal peoples and upon learning this children and young people assessed the measure as ‘bad racism’. Participants unanimously agreed that the blue and white warning signs were an ineffective regulatory measure that negatively impacted their lives by ‘shaming’ communities and making them ‘look bad’.This research is significant because it (a) presents the first academic accounts from Aboriginal children and young people detailing their views about the Intervention; (b) demonstrates Aboriginal children and young people’s agency and capacity to express informed views about complex matters such as legislation and policy; and (c) shows that the involvement of Aboriginal children and young people in the design of laws and policies likely to affect them is not only the Australian government’s responsibility under art 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Australia’s obligation under art 19 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but is an effective and necessary precondition for the development of relevant, culturally appropriate and durable laws and policies that advance Aboriginal children and young people’s human rights.