Human rights and Indigenous legal organisations have called on the Federal and Northern Territory governments to take immediate action to protect the human rights of young people in detention.

The push comes as the Royal Commission into the abuse of children in the Don Dale youth detention centre held its first public sitting in Darwin on Tuesday.

The Human Rights Law Centre, Amnesty International and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) have urged governments to immediately prohibit the use of solitary confinement and introduce an inspector of youth detention to prevent further abuse.

Executive officer of NATSILS, Karly Warner, says they have received reports that young people are still being held in “conditions amounting to solitary confinement” in the High Security Unit of Don Dale.


Indigenous health organisations based in the Northern Territory have also expressed their concerns that a lack of resources and time will jeopardise proper engagement with the current Territory royal commission.

Ms Warner says unless First Nations organisations are properly heard, resulting recommendations will not represent the people.


Hearings are expected to begin in mid-October, with a final report due to be released on March 31 next year.