Indigenous Children 'Worse Off'
THE suicide rate for Queensland's male indigenous
teenagers is four times higher than the state's
average for the age group, a new report shows.
The report, entitled A Snapshot: Children and
Young People in Queensland 2005, shows the state
suicide rate for males aged 15 to 19 is also
higher than the national average.
Commissioner for Children and Young People
and Child Guardian, Elizabeth Fraser, said
the data also showed Queensland indigenous
children were worse off in all their basic needs.
Ms Fraser said all levels of government
needed to act to rectify the situation.
"Indigenous children suffer higher levels
of abuse, mortality, morbidity and social
disadvantage and lower levels of health and
education than other children and young
people in the state," Ms Fraser said.
The report showed the suicide rate for males
aged 15 to 19 years old per 100,000 was 16.2
in Queensland during 2001 to 2003, compared
to a national rate of 13.4.
The rate for indigenous people of the same age was
four times higher.
The study also found 12 per cent of indigenous babies
were born with a low birth weight, compared to the
state average of 6.9 per cent in 2003.
But the report also showed marginal improvements in
the areas of education and detention among indigenous
In other areas of the study, Queensland children
overall were suffering from ongoing high levels
of childhood overweight and obesity, high rates
of sexually transmitted diseases and high injury
and death rates for young people in accidents