Summary publication

Social Justice Reports

Aboriginal man playing didgeridoo with young girl holding the Aboriginal flag and little boy looking onThe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner is required to report annually to the Attorney-General regarding the exercise and enjoyment of human rights by Australia's Indigenous peoples. This provision also allows the Commissioner to make recommendations as to action that should be taken to ensure such enjoyment.

The Commissioner has a role to monitor and evaluate the human rights performance of Australian governments in concrete and specific circumstances. This includes assessing domestic situations against international human rights benchmarks.

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Social Justice Report 2011

Social Justice Report 2010

Social Justice Report 2009

Social Justice Report 2008

Social Justice Report 2007

Social Justice Report 2006

Social Justice Report 2005

The Social Justice Report 2005 examines the implementation of the new arrangements for the administration of Indigenous affairs, in a post-ATSIC environment, and considers whether they ensure the effective participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in decision making that affects their daily lives.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma said the government’s progress in implementing the new arrangements for Indigenous affairs over the past 12 months has been mixed - with some significant developments in promoting whole-of-government coordination, but some worrying gaps and challenges yet to be adequately addressed.

Social Justice Report 2004

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma has used his first Social Justice Report to put the federal Government on notice that he will be closely monitoring the new arrangements for the administration of Indigenous affairs and how they are implemented. The Social Justice Report 2004 outlines the challenges which lie ahead in protecting the human rights of Indigenous peoples in Australia and how the Commissioner intends to ensure these rights are observed.

Social Justice Report 2003

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Dr William Jonas outlined an agenda for change to Indigenous policy in the Social Justice Report 2003. This year's Social Justice Report alsolooks back over the past five years and evaluates whether government policy and program delivery are improving the situation of Indigenous peoples' lives in a sustainable way.

Social Justice Report 2002

In trying to provide a snapshot of the status of Indigenous policy making and achievements by governments over the past year, it is difficult to see any consistent forward trend. The Social Justice Report 2002 shows there have been marginal improvements in some statistical indicators, but deterioration in others. It finds that the policy approaches of governments are full of inconsistencies, ad hoc developments, and commitments that not only remain unmet but which are not adequately supported by institutional developments.

Read the Social Justice Report 2002 and supporting material.

Social Justice Report 2001

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Dr William Jonas has expressed serious concerns about the federal government's commitment to reconciliation in his annual review of the government's performance, the Social Justice Report 2001. The report also focuses on Indigenous governance and community capacity building, the impact of manadatory sentencing laws on Indigenous Australians and looks at ‘mutual obligation’ and welfare reform from a human rights perspective.

Read the Social Justice Report 2001 and supporting materials.

Social Justice Report 2000

The Social Justice Report 2000 focuses on reconciliation and human rights. It expresses concern about the current lack of progress on reconciliation and identifies a range of commitments to be made at the national level before meaningful reconciliation can be achieved. The report calls for a commitment to overcoming indigenous disadvantage as an urgent national priority and makes 14 recommendations including negotiation of a national framework agreement (or treaty), an entrenched guarantee against racial discrimination, better accountability and transparency of Governments and processes to ensure more effective participation of Indigenous peoples in the decision-making process.

Read the Social Justice Report 2000.
Download the Social Justice Report in WordWord (999K).