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Choose a population group or an issue related to human rights and social justice where you believe dignity has been oppressed and freedoms have been denied. Using 3-5 photos (please do not include anyone's face), construct a narrative that you believe represents the current situation with this population group or issue and how a human rights-based practice within your discipline can advocate and empower people in such situations. For example, a photo of bars could represent imprisonment; a photo of two different hands together could represent the freedom to talk to an advocate. Use peer-reviewed articles and scholarly books, as well as media pieces, to justify and strengthen your arguments.
It is often seen that the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders witness the lesser level of human rights and social justice such as lesser access to health, education, social disadvantage and unemployment (Blyton, G., 2009). As a matter of fact, the non-indigenous population have better health than the indigenous group and which is why the indigenous die at a much younger age. It is also noted that the indigenous communities in New Zealand, Canada and the United States have received better living standards, the figures in Australia continue to show slow growth rate (NSW Government, 2016). Thus, the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders continue to suffer from health issues and lack of well- being (NSW Government, 2016).
In recent times there have been several initiatives taken by the Australian Government and NGO's to improve health and well- being of the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders (AIHW, 2011). As a result, there are various aspects wherein the conditions have improved, and more indigenous people have access to the health care system. However, there is one aspect where the indigenous people of Australia still face a challenge, which is smoking. Even though the rates of smoking has dropped than before, but it still stands higher than non-indigenous people of Australia (Australian Government, 2011). Smoking tobacco is a constant problem that the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders face till date, and there has been very little improvement to curb this. Many people, including young adults and teenagers, still smoke that has created a lot of health problems for indigenous people. Moreover, smoking is one of the leading causes of several other diseases that have affected the lives of the indigenous group extensively (AIHW, 2011). Every data, statistics and report show high smoking rates and fewer changes only in non-remote areas, among the indigenous group. There are numerous remote areas in Australia wherein indigenous people are out of reach, and still, a lot of work needs to be done to reduce smoking among them. This essay addresses the issue of smoking among the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, which is an oppressed group of Australia and represents that marginalized section of the society. It is one of the worst-hit communities of racism that still awaits to see an egalitarian society (AIHW, 2011).
History of The Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia
The Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders are the indigenous people of Australia who reside in different parts of the country. It is the most oppressed group in Australia and given second class status in society (Aboriginal Heritage Office, 2016). The indigenous population comprises of different groups and sects that have their own culture, language, beliefs and history, which is spread all over Australia. The indigenous people are the original natives of Australia who inhabited the country before European colonization. During this time, the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders had their own lands, houses and religion, and they were sufficient self- community (Aboriginal Heritage Office, 2016). But with the advent of European settlers, things changed that resulted in the colonization of Australia. Many new diseases spread the Australian continent during that time, to which the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders were unaware of. This resulted in population collapse, diseases such as smallpox that spread soon after the arrival of European colonizers depopulated the indigenous people (Aboriginal Heritage Office, 2016). There were several other accounts that reduced their population such as, the colonizers took off the indigenous lands, houses, and assertions through false promises and treaties that promised to give equal shares to them (Aboriginal Heritage Office, 2016). The indigenous did not get anything and were only left as marginalized sections in their own lands. Later on, many laws were passed that promoted whites and violated the indigenous culture. Stolen generation is one such area wherein many indigenous children were taken away from their parents, through government laws and regulations (Aboriginal Heritage Office, 2016).