Darwin (Australia), July 3 (ANI): The latest two-yearly study of the Australian Government's Productivity Commission damningly reveals that indigenous children are six times more likely to suffer abuse or neglect than non-indigenous children and 28 times more likely to wind up in jail.
According to The Australian, the report categorically reveals that there has been little or no improvement in many areas of social and economic inequality in spite of federal government promises to reduce indigenous disadvantage.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has described findings of the report as devastating.
"We have to redouble and treble our efforts to make an impact," Rudd said during the report's release here on Thursday at a national meeting of federal, state and local government leaders.
The Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report measured 50 indicators, including six areas targeted for improvement by federal and state governments since December 2007.
Their goals were to close the life expectancy gap within a generation, halve the difference in infant mortality and employment rates within a decade and improve indigenous education in three areas: early childhood; literacy and numeracy; and high school graduations.
On each of those counts, no significant improvements were recorded.
Although the employment rate rose from 43 per cent to 48 per cent among indigenous people in the five years to 2006, the rate remained 24 percentage points behind other Australians.
Similarly, high school graduation rates increased to more than a third but made no advance on the 74 per cent of non-indigenous people who completed year 12.
In reading, writing and numeracy, "there has been negligible change in indigenous students' performance over the past 10 years and no closing of the gap," the report found.
In other areas, the gulf between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians continued to grow.
Productivity Commission chairman Gary Banks said unacceptable disparities persisted in every area measured. (ANI)