COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS
Forty-second session Geneva, 4 to 22 May 2009
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLES 16 AND 17 OF THE COVENANT
Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights considered the fourth periodic report of Australia on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/C.12/AUS/4) at its 3rd, 4th and 5th meetings, held on 5 and 6 May 2009 (E/C.12/2009/3, 4 and 5), and adopted, at its 26th meeting held on 20 May 2009, the following concluding observations.
28 In spite of the State party’s commitment to “close the gap” in key health indicators between indigenous and non-indigenous people, the Committee notes with concern the continuing high levels of ill health among indigenous people, in particular women and children.(art.2.2 and 12)
The Committee calls on the State party to take immediate steps to improve the health situation of indigenous people, in particular women and children, including by implementing a human rights framework that ensures access to the social determinants of health such as housing, safe drinking water, electricity and effective sanitation systems. Further, the Committee invites the State party to identify disaggregated health indicators and appropriate national benchmarks in relation to the right to health, in line with the Committee’s General Comment No.14 (2000), and to include information on the process of identifying such indicators and benchmarks in its next periodic report. (emphasis added – songlines)