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Inquiry into missing and murdered First Nations Women and Children

The Law Council of Australia (the Law Council) thanks the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee (the Committee) for the opportunity to make a submission to its inquiry into missing and murdered First Nations women and children (the Inquiry).

The Law Council’s submission addresses the Inquiry’s terms of reference, framed against Australia’s obligations under international law to protect women and children from violence, and the principle of self-determination, as recognised under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).1

The Law Council emphasises that the principle of self-determination should underpin responses to violence experienced by First Nations women and children, including by long-term investment in First Nations community-controlled organisations and services empowered to self-design strategies for the safety of their communities. As a starting point for the Committee, listening to the voices, and hearing the truths of First Nations women and children in the current inquiry is fundamental to realising self-determination.

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