Saturday, April 3, 2010

Human Rights Crimes against Children in the Goldfields

By Alice Haines

Goldfields is now under scrutiny with the influx of children becoming Incarcerated over recent months. Coolgardie Town, 38 Kilometers from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia have been reaching out to the wider communities in a cry for help.

On 31st March 2010 we had an urgent cry from community by the Father of a 12 year old boy whose son was incarcerated and apprehended from his Pastors house for breaching a curfew placed by courts. Curfews are now the topic for this town because even if there was not a court ordered curfew a town curfew has been placed for all youth under the age of 18. Even though the curfew is for all youths the implementation of this curfew is only practiced on all the Indigenous Youth.

There is some question of the legality of this curfew which is not a Western Australian Legislation nor seems to be a Local Government By Law. The town curfew in question is what led to a 15 year old Aboriginal female youth being harassed by police on her way home from the shops one evening. Witnesses say that when the youth tried to walk off when police came from behind and threw her to the ground by her neck. After she struggled whilst panicking the police pepper sprayed her and tasered her even though she was already pinned to the ground.

Click on the video below to see footage of the Queensland Police taser a 16yo girl on Southbank.

The young female youth was then kept in the Paddy Wagon for 4 ½ hours at the back of Coolgardie Police Station and then taken to Kalgoorlie lock up via rough corrugated backtrack roads as apposed to the main highway to Kalgoorlie. She then was stripped search at the Kalgoorlie lockups. The young youth who is diagnosed with acute asthma was refused medical help when she made a complaint of chest pains. This case goes to trial in Kalgoorlie on the 7th May.2010. The mother has charges of trespassing at the police station in Coolgardie when she came in on the night to inquire of her child’s whereabouts and well being. These charges go to court on the 10th of May 2010.

Both Mother and Daughter had no prior criminal record preceding this incident.

The Goldfields has the highest incarceration rate in the world from the Indigenous race. The rate is 6 times higher than the heat of Apartheid in South Africa when incarceration reached its highest statistics of South African history.

This is clearly a Human Rights Violation.

Thank you Alice Haines.

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