Friday, 02 March 2018

Children's Rights report

Media release

Today, alongside National Children's Commissioner, Ms Megan Mitchell, and President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, I am pleased to launch the 2017 Children's Rights Report

Approximately 5.5 million children live in Australia, making up nearly a quarter of our total population.

The report provides an insightful account of the many dynamics which make up the picture of how children's rights are enjoyed in Australia today and focuses particularly on the challenges faced by young parents and their children.

The importance of improving the lives of young parents and their children was a key focus in my previous role as Minister for Social Services. Young parents were one of the first priority groups under the Turnbull Government's $96.1 million Try, Test and Learn Fund.

The report also outlines the development of the National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations; an initiative precipitated by the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Turnbull Government is committed to doing everything possible to ensure that the national tragedy revealed in the findings of the Royal Commission is never repeated.
Embedding child-safe cultures in our institutions will be a key element in this role.

In developing the report, Commissioner Mitchell spoke directly with young or expecting parents across the country and received survey input from many more. In capturing the children's rights landscape in Australia, Commissioner Mitchell also consulted broadly with academics, government, private and non-government organisations, and many children and youth themselves.

It was my great pleasure to launch the report today, and know it will contribute to improving the lives of children and young people across Australia.

A copy of the report is available at the AHRC here: website

I can also announce today that the Government intends to recommend to the Governor-General in Executive Council the re-appointment of Ms Mitchell as Children's Rights Commissioner for a period of two years from the expiry of her current term on 24 March 2018.

Ms Mitchell's re-appointment provides important continuity in the work the Commissioner is currently overseeing which includes leading the Commission's engagement with the current reporting cycle on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and work associated with the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory, both of which have a strong focus on the protection of children and youth.