Amnesty International has welcomed today’s commitments from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the Opposition to a national change to our youth justice system.
These commitments followed the Federal Government’s response to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.
“The COAG’s First Ministers acknowledgement that the Royal Commission’s recommendations have national implications, and their commitment to sharing lessons and best practices across jurisdictions on child protection and youth justice is very welcome news,” said Roxanne Moore, Amnesty International’s Indigenous Rights Campaigner.
“We also welcome the Opposition’s declaration that the “protection and detention of Australian young people is a national issue and a national responsibility – and it deserves Commonwealth leadership.”
“This adds to Amnesty’s ReachTEL poll from October, which found two out of three Australians believe the Turnbull Government should lead national action to end the injustice of too many Indigenous kids in prison.
“What this shows is that there is a groundswell of support from right around Australia on the call for national change to our youth justice system.
“However, the time has passed for mere talk. What we need to see now is Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to put the politics aside and make a bipartisan commitment for national change, with a concrete action plan put in place immediately.”
“However, the time has passed for mere talk. What we need to see now is Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten put the politics aside and make a bipartisan commitment for national change, with a concrete action plan put in place immediately.”
Indigenous leaders have been calling out for support for the Change The Record Coalition’s ‘Free To Be Kids’ National Plan of Action, which would see a future where Indigenous children thrive in their communities, rather than being abused behind bars.
The National Plan of Action includes: ending abusive practices in children’s prisons; setting national justice targets; providing support to families to stay strong, healthy and together; diversion and prevention programs; raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14 years; and funding Aboriginal-controlled legal and support services.