'It is using the Declaration that breathes life into it.' As an international instrument, the Declaration provides a blueprint for Indigenous peoples and governments around the world, based on the principles of self-determination and participation, to respect the rights and roles of Indigenous peoples within society. It is the instrument that contains the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of Indigenous peoples all over the world - Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.
Since the colonization of Australia began in the eighteenth century, its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have suffered generations of violence and marginalization. Indigenous Australians remain in situations of extreme disadvantage compared to non-indigenous Australians across a range of human rights and development indicators, including health, education and income.