The Rise of Aboriginal Rights with particular reference to Human Rights refers to the basic rights enjoyed by Aborigines. Questions about human rights abuses against Aboriginal people came to national and international attention in the late 1980s, when the Australian government faced criticism over a disproportionately high death rate among Aboriginal people in police custody. In 1988 the United Nations published a report accusing Australia of violating international human rights standards in its treatment of Aboriginal people.
In 1991 a report by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody showed evidence of extensive racism in Australian police forces and prison systems. The report outlined more than 300 recommendations to improve the situation. Much of the report examined the underlying causes for the disproportionate number of Aboriginal people in custody and in prisons in particular. It concluded that the most significant factor in the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in custody was “the disadvantaged and unequal condition that Aboriginal people find themselves in…socially, economically, and culturally,” and it recommended greater empowerment of Aboriginal people and more adherences to policies of self-determination. Unfortunately, today Aboriginal people are still seriously overrepresented in Australian prisons in relation to their population size. Many advocates of Aboriginal causes believe that the history of mistreatment and domination of Aboriginal people, and particularly the legacy of child-removal policies, has contributed substantially to high rates of crime, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse among Aboriginal people, which in turn contribute to the high incarceration rates. The Rise of Aboriginal Rights: Human Rights though continue to improve, Aborigines continue to suffer neglect and sometimes false imprisonment and the standard of living vis-à-vis white people have a wide margin.