As part of the Child Safe Organisations project, in 2017 the Australian Government asked the National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, to lead the development of National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.
The Australian Government also commissioned the Australian Human Rights Commission to develop practical tools to help organisations implement the National Principles.
The National Principles were developed under the guidance of Community Services Ministers across Commonwealth, state and territory governments under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020. The Principles respond to recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The National Principles aim to provide a nationally consistent approach to creating organisational cultures that foster child safety and wellbeing across all sectors in Australia. This will help to keep children and young people safe and reduce future harm in organisational settings.
The National Principles reflect the ten child safe standards recommended by the Royal Commission, with a broader scope that goes beyond child sexual abuse to cover other forms of harm to children and young people.
In June 2018, the Australian Government tabled its response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations. As one element of its response, the Australian Government established the National Office for Child Safety in July 2018. The key activities of the National Office will include leading national coordination and implementation of the National Principles, working with the National Children’s Commissioner, states and territories and the non-government sector.
As of February 2019, the National Principles have been endorsed by members of the Council of Australian Governments, including the Prime Minister and state and territory First Ministers.