We have now passed the 30-year anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) on 15th April 2021. However, many of the Royal Commission’s recommendations have not yet been implemented.

As we continue to wait, our people continue to die.

The RCIADIC recommended increasing access to bail as a crucial measure to reduce preventable deaths in custody.

The Andrews Government has been restricting access to bail.

VALS and over 50 community, legal, and human rights organisations have written to the Andrews Government asking for urgent bail reform focused on reducing preventable deaths in custody.

Since the RCDIAC  handed down its report, at least 517 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have died in custody. You can read more in our fact sheet.

As Australia is a signatory to the United Nations Optional Protocol Convention Against Torture (OPCAT), the Victorian Government has an obligation to prevent the torture and ill-treatment of detained Aboriginal people. This includes an obligation to set up detention oversight bodies. Learn more about OPCAT in our fact sheet or by watching the recording of our Unlocking Victorian Justice webinar.

You can read VALS’ Submission to the United Nations Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture and Submission to the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

Over 30 years ago, RCIADIC recommended decriminalising public intoxication. VALS supports and recognises Aunty Tanya Day’s family’s advocacy.

VALS is also advocating for an end to police investigating deaths in police custody and police-contact deaths.

On the 30-year anniversary of RCIADIC, we interviewed Senator Dodson, VALS staff and family members of people who have died in custody.

If you have any queries, please contact Patrick Cook, Acting Head of Policy, Communications and Strategy at pcook@vals.org.au

Find more resources for further reading here.

RCIADIC 30th Anniversary chat with Senator Patrick Dodson
RCIADIC 30th Anniversary chat with Aunty Rosemary Roe