Wednesday 02 May 2012New Commissioner a win for children
The Commission has applauded the Australian Government’s move to appoint a National Children’s Commissioner by the end of the year.
Commission President Catherine Branson QC said the Commissioner will be an important advocate for children and young people across Australia and will help ensure that their voices are heard.
“The Children’s Commissioner will consult with children and young people and their representatives, will monitor how they are impacted by Commonwealth law and policy and will conduct research into key issues affecting children.”
Ms Branson said the appointment will enhance the work that the Commission already conducts to promote children’s rights in Australia such as issues relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children with a disability and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
“The work of a National Children’s Commissioner will also complement the important work conducted by state and territory children’s commissioners and guardians.”
Ms Branson said the UN Committee on the Rights of a Child raised the importance of a dedicated national monitor of children’s rights in its last review of Australia and that the new Children’s Commissioner will examine whether we are meeting our obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“Currently, there is no coordinated approach to protecting children’s rights across Australia. There are many groups of young people at risk of falling through the gaps – such as children experiencing homelessness, Indigenous children and children in immigration detention,” Ms Branson said.
“A National Children’s Commissioner will play an important role in advocating for the protection of the human rights of some of the most vulnerable children and young people in Australia.”
The Government is expected to call for expressions of interest for the position shortly, will introduce legislation later this year and expects that the new Commissioner will take office prior to the end of 2012.