The Black Lives Matter movement in Australia
Dropbox stands for human rights and equality of opportunity. We tangibly and proudly support this cause through the Dropbox Foundation, which provides funding for nonprofit organisations combating abuses around the world.
In March this year, we announced our first Australian Foundation partner the Human Rights Law Centre - an organisation that challenges inequality and injustice for marginalised communities in Australia including refugees and asylum seekers, Indigenous people, LGBTIQ people and women.
Events of the past week have highlighted the importance of addressing systemic inequality and in response, Dropbox took a public stand against racial injustice and police brutality. As these events continue to unfold in the United States and around the world, the Dropbox A/NZ team reached out to the Human Rights Law Centre, to raise awareness of the parallel reality faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.
- Indigenous people in Australia are one of the most incarcerated groups of people in the world, making up just three percent of the population, but 28 per cent of our prison population.
- Over the last 10 years, the number of Indigenous people incarcerated by governments across Australia has grown by 88%.
- Indigenous people are 17.3 times more likely to be arrested and 14.7 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Indigenous people.
- On average, more than half (54%) of all young people in detention are Indigenous.
- Since the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody, 437 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have died in police custody.
“Our governments can choose to end the racial injustice and violence in this country by committing to end the mass imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, by following through on recommendations of coroners, independent experts and the Royal Commission, and by holding police to account for wrongdoing.”
- Human Rights Law Centre Senior Lawyer, Shahleena Musk
Call to action
The Human Rights Law Centre works in partnership with Indigenous people and organisations across Australia and together they are calling for the below to help end the deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in custody:
- End the mass imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by repealing punitive bail laws; mandatory sentencing laws; and decriminalising public drunkenness.
- Stop imprisoning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and raise the age of legal responsibility from 10 to at least 14 years.
- End racist policing and require police accountability by ending the practice of police investigating police, and legislating for independent investigations of deaths in custody and resourcing independent police oversight bodies.
- Implement all recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the countless independent investigations, coronial inquests and reports that have been published in the three decades since.
- End the abuse, torture and solitary confinement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in police and prison cells through legislative safeguards and by urgently establishing independent bodies to oversee the conditions of detention and treatment of people.
How you can help
If you’d like to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples rights, below are just a few of the organisations and resources available:
- To join the Human Rights Law Centre and other advocacy groups in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in putting an end to deaths in custody - sign the petition here.
- The Human Rights Law Centre is campaigning for the development of an Australia Charter of Human rights and Freedoms. To join the Human Rights Law Centre’s campaign, click here.
Donate or Volunteer
- The First Nations Resource Directory provides an excellent list of organisations and groups that you can volunteer with or donate to help.
- National Indigenous Television (NITV) covers important stories from and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- The annual National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC events provide an opportunity to get involved with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander events in your area.
- Indigenous X is an Indigenous owned and operated media company that challenges stereotypes of the Indigenous community.