Putting children’s rights centre stage at the UN
Graphic: Megan Mitchell, National Children’s Commissioner, outside the Palais de Nations in Geneva
Australia’s inaugural National Children’s Commissioner addressed the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for the first time.
The National Children's Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, has appeared before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to discuss the findings in her recent report on the state of children's rights in Australia.
The report sets out the key human rights concerns for children and young people in Australia and was produced with input from almost 23,000 children, 100 stakeholders and 127 written submissions.
Commissioner Mitchell also met personally with around 450 children across the country, in order to learn more about their lives and experiences.
The report highlights violence and mental health as issues that require urgent attention, as well as recommending that the age of criminal responsibility be raised to 14 years.
It contains 60 recommendations for action by Australian Governments.
"In Australia today, 5.5 million people are under the age of 18. While most of them grow up in safe and healthy environments, there are too many children whose rights are not adequately protected," Ms Mitchell said.
"Going forward, we have much work to do. A central message in the report is the need for stronger measures in policy, law and practice to protect children and advance their rights."
Ms Mitchell's appearance makes history, as she is Australia's inaugural National Children's Commissioner and this is the first time the National Children's Commissioner has made a presentation at the United Nations.
Date: 11 February 2019
- Megan Mitchell, National Children’s Commissioner, outside the Palais de Nations in Geneva - Australian Human Rights Commission