An Australian government program imposing radical restrictions on Aborigines in a crackdown on child abuse is inherently racist, breaches international human rights obligations and must be changed immediately, a U.N. official said Feb. 24. In an advance copy of a report to be released next week, the U.N. special rapporteur on indigenous human rights, James Anaya, expressed serious concerns over the controversial initiative known as “the intervention.” The program forced a series of tough rules on Aborigines in the Northern Territory - including bans on alcohol and hard-core pornography - in response to an investigation that found rampant child sex abuse in remote indigenous communities. “The measures specifically target indigenous people and impair certain rights and freedoms,” Anaya said. “It does impair self-determination of Aboriginal communities, their ability to make certain choices about how their communities are run.” (AP)

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