The Western Australia (WA) state is trying to implement an anti-burglary bill that will target youths, particularly indigenous ones, Amnesty has warned.
According to the rights group, indigenous young people are already 58 times more likely to go to prison in WA and the "Home Burglary Bill" will harm the future of dozens of indigenous youths, without reducing burglaries.
"Right now the Home Burglary Bill is being debated in Western Australia's Parliament, despite overwhelming evidence that it won't actually reduce burglaries," Amnesty said.
"What it definitely will do is send more young people to prison, thanks to expanded mandatory sentencing laws for 16 and 17-year-olds. The situation is most dire for indigenous kids. WA already locks up Indigenous kids at a higher rate than anywhere else in Australia. [The bill] is labelling kids as unreformable criminals before they've even reached adulthood, and giving them no path in life except towards a prison cell."
Amnesty also warned that imprisoning people is a breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which aims to enable children to develop to their full potential, of which Australia is signatory.
Amnesty's report comes one day after Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was criticised for claiming that people who live in indigenous communities are making a "lifestyle choice" and that the government can no longer provide for those who "chose to not fit with the rest of society".
"What we can't do is endlessly subsidise lifestyle choices if those lifestyle choices are not conducive to the kind of full participation in Australian society that everyone should have," he said during an interview with ABC Radio.
"Fine, by all means live in a remote location, but there's a limit to what you can expect the state to do for you if you want to live there."
Last November, WA Premier Colin Barnett said the government intended to close between 100 and 150 indigenous communities as the federal government had cut funds aimed for indigenous people.