“They Were Treating Me Like a Dog”: The Colonial Continuum of State Harms Against Indigenous Children in Detention in the Northern Territory, Australia
- Pluto Journals
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- State Crime Journal, 2018, 7 (2), pp. 251 - 277 (27)
- Issue Date:
The analytic lens of state crime can inform our understanding of the mistreatment of Indigenous children and young people in settler-colonial state institutions. Based on a critical analysis of the proceedings and findings of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory (2016–2017), this article identifies state crimes of torture and abuse inflicted on Indigenous children in carceral and non-carceral institutions. These crimes breach international human rights laws but are more than a set of individual harms. They are also part of a pattern of ongoing structural violence that reasserts the settler-colonial state’s sovereign position. This article identifies that the Royal Commission itself is complicit in reproducing state sovereignty. It argues that redressing state crimes against Indigenous children requires challenging the structural injustice of the settler-colonial state.
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