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Date posted: 3 June 2014
Aboriginal health groups are calling for Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) to be recognised as a disability.
The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) is also pushing for sufferers of what's known as the 'invisible disability' to be kept out of jail, labelling incarceration unethical and a breach of human rights.
The group, which represents 150 Aboriginal health programs, was appearing before a parliamentary inquiry into harmful use of alcohol in Aboriginal communities, calling for a re-think of alcohol-related issues. 'Filling our jails with Aboriginal people with drug and alcohol issues does nothing to solve the problem, in fact, removing people from communities just makes it worse,' NACCHO Chair, Justin Mohamed said.
It's also vital for FASD to be recognised as a disability so sufferers can access Centrelink and rehab services, and be dealt with outside the justice system.