How do we fare?

For most children, Australia is a great place to live, grow up and reach their full potential. But there are some children whose rights are not being fulfilled.

When the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child passed down its Concluding Observations in 2012, some of the areas it identified Australia can do better were:

    • Australia needs a national plan or policy on children’s rights to ensure all children benefit from living in Australia.
    • There needs to be greater effort made to tell Australians about children’s rights, including children and those who work with them.
    • The government should establish a budgeting process to adequately take into account the needs of children at the national, state and territory levels and include a monitoring process to ensure its efficacy.
    • The government should consider appointing a Deputy Children’s Commissioner to address issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
    • Australia should examine and adapt its legislative framework to ensure Australian mining companies working overseas adhere to the Australian child rights laws.

Read the Concluding Observations in full.

The good news

The good news is that, in 2013, the Government appointed a National Children’s Commissioner, a significant step in the protection and promotion of child rights in Australia. The current Commissioner is Anne Hollonds, and it’s her job to make sure children and young people have a genuine say on the issues that affect their lives.

Contact the National Children’s Commissioner, Anne Hollonds

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @AnneHollonds 

How can Australia improve the lives of children and young people?

The Australian Child Rights Taskforce has prepared a child-friendly and youth-friendly version of the recommendations made to Australia by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Download the publications for Primary School Students and High School Students.

Additional resources for educators and parents

If you’re looking for ways to teach your children about their rights and the responsibilities, UNICEF Australia has information, resources and ideas to help engage children and young people with the work of the Australian Child Rights Taskforce and the CRC.

For updates on what’s happening around child rights in countries around the world, CRIN is the global child rights advocacy network, campaigning and advocating for long-term change and legal reform.