Our Living World Constitution:
Charter for Economic Rights—Articles 16-19

Posted on 04 June 2019

Invasion Day protest at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra.
by Bidgee January 2010, CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported (trimmed)

Our Humanitarian Responsibilities

Article 16.

The lands of the original peoples and nations of Australia were taken by European forces in order to enrich themselves at another country’s expense. This was an aggresive and illegal act.

1) Australia will recognise Aboriginal Sovereignty and enter into binding treaties with its original peoples.

2) Land ownership will be restored to Aboriginal peoples without encumbrances.

3) Australia will become a Federated Republic and include Aboriginal law as part of our new legal system.

4) We will provide secure Aboriginal representation in our governing bodies.

5) We will set up Truth and Reconciliation Tribunals.

6) All actions concerning the well-being of our original peoples will be done in genuine consultation with them. A Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations, and truth-telling about Aboriginal history, will be established.

7) Australia will become a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples and incorporate it into national law.

Article 17.

No one should profit from war. War is a regrettable state of affairs which should be avoided and only entered upon under extreme circumstances.

1) Therefore, the government alone will be responsible for the manufacture and provision of weapons for our military. These weapons are not to be sold to other bodies or other countries.

2) Furthermore, the military should not require so much of our government’s budget that the social and physical well-being of Australian citizens is in any way compromised. Therefore, caps will be put on military spending.

3) Finally, in these environmentally precarious times, war is an existential threat to our entire planet. Australia will fully support international nuclear disarmament.

Article 18.

We will respect the rights of refugees as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (which Australia was one of the 26 nations present to write this document). In addition to these guarantees the government alone will be responsible for the humane and transparent housing and support of refugees when they enter Australia for processing, and not subject refugees to commercially contracted management.

Article 19.

We are all one humanity and are all part of this living world. As such we have a responsibility to reach out to other nations and help where we can to relieve suffering, especially that which is the result of environmental damage. In this manner we bring the world together in friendship and create a better future. Australia has a good record of contributing to UN Humanitarian Aid programmes and pledges to continue supporting this aid at impeccable standards. We also pledge a superior level of commitment to UN climate change aid.


Explication

Article 16.

The treatment of this country’s first peoples has been abysmal. If we wish to live in a world that is humane and just, then we must redress the wrongs that have been visited upon the Aboriginal peoples of Australia.

This article cannot remain as it is without consultation with this country’s original peoples. However, it is based on their published hopes and wishes, and can perhaps be used as a starting point along with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Personally, I would like to see this country become a republic and rename itself using an aboriginal word acceptable to the many tribes. We can then change the flag as well.

Those who are not part of the peoples who populated this country for thousands of years must remember that we are the immigrants, every last one of us. We should treat the original peoples with respect and other immigrants with respect. It is our cruelty that gives us the most reason to fear the other.

Article 17.

War is not just about protecting ourselves from aggressors or helping in the protection of our friends and neighbours. It is also used to expand power, make money, and hold our own civilian population under control. If the goal is to create a peaceful world, then we must dismantle the miltary-industrial complex. If we seek to call a halt to self-extermination, then we must disarm.

Article 18.

Neither prisons nor detention centres should be corporately run businesses. People must never treat one another as waste products, nor turn human mistreatment into a service.

Article 19.

Australia has generally been in good standing with the United Nations. The areas where we have failed are our support for reversing climate change, our treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, and the treatment of our original peoples.

Other articles in this series:


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