A group of Australian Aborigines asked the United Nations on Aug. 26 for refugee status, claiming special emergency laws to curb alcohol and sexual abuse in the remote outback have turned them into outcasts at home. Richard Downs, a spokesperson for the 4,000-strong Alyawarra people in central Australia, said the request was given to James Anaya, the United Nations special rapporteur on indigenous human rights, during a fact-finding tour to Australia. "We've got no say at all. We feel like an outcast in our community, refugees in our own country," Downs told state radio. (Reuters)

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