Australia appeared before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva for the first time since 2011 in early September.
Australia’s Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell was at the appearance and also addressed the Committee.
With the support of the Australian Mission, Commissioner Mitchell hosted a screening of Maya Newell’s In my blood it runs at the Palais des Nations. The film tells the story of ten year-old Dujuan, an Aboriginal boy from the Northern Territory, and shows how systems like education, justice and child welfare can fail Aboriginal families and their children.
It was an important element of the Commissioner’s ongoing advocacy around raising the age of criminal responsibility. Dujuan and his family travelled to Geneva for the appearance, spoke to the Committee, and met with Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Dujuan also addressed the Human Rights Council about the things that need to change to make life better for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children like him.
Following Commissioner Mitchell’s appearance at the UN, she attended the inaugural meeting of the International Network on Infants, Toddlers and Child Protection at Oxford University.
Representatives from 17 countries participated in the two-day event, to share data and set out a forward research agenda in areas like evidence based risk assessment and decision making, pre and post-birth notification policies, child removal practices, placement and reunification.