Date: 
Monday 26 March 2018

We will soon report to the United Nations on how Australia is meeting its international obligations to children and now is your chance to be heard.

National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell is calling for submissions from all people and organisations that have something to say about the state of children’s rights in Australia. 

The Australian Human Rights Commission, led by Commissioner Mitchell, will report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about Australia’s progress in meeting its child rights obligations by 1 November 2018.

The Committee monitors Australia’s implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and its optional protocols on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Commissioner Mitchell will also prepare a more comprehensive version of this report, a ‘state of the nation’ on child rights in Australia for her next Children’s Rights Report, which will be submitted to Parliament in late 2018.

As part of this process, Commissioner Mitchell will be travelling around Australia  to hear first hand from children, young people and their advocates.

The Commissioner is taking submissions on a wide range of child rights but submissions don’t need to address them all, they can concern a single right or group of rights.

For example the group of rights related to ‘violence against children’ includes topics like abuse and neglect, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, and the right not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Other rights fall within the groups of civil freedoms, family environment, disability, basic health and welfare, education, and special protection measures.

“Now is your time to be heard,” Commissioner Mitchell said. “I would like to include your views on how Australia is progressing or not progressing in terms of meeting our obligations to children in Australia under international law.

“I encourage you, where possible, to include the views of children and young people. I am especially interested in hearing from people living in regional and remote areas, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

“We know that some issues can have a bigger impact on children living outside of major cities and I’d like to hear directly from the young people and organisations in these communities.”

Australia last reported on its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocols in 2012. You can read the Committee’s 2012 Concluding Observations on Australia here.

Please send submissions electronically to kids@humanrights.gov.au with the subject title SUBMISSION, or in writing to GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2000. Submissions close on Wednesday 23 May 2018. 

More information on how to make a submission is available here.