A child's hands on a fence

Kids need more than platitudes: close Ashley, Don Dale and raise the age

Amnesty International Australia called on State and Territory governments to do more than release media statements with empty platitudes during National Child Protection Week, and act to close detention centres and raise the age of criminal responsibility.

“State and Territory governments have it in their power now to do more than make empty statements about the importance of child safety,” Amnesty International Australia Indigenous Rights Campaigner, Maggie Munn, said.

“The little kids locked up in Don Dale, Ashley, Banksia Hill and all the other detention centres – where multiple cases of physical and sexual abuse have been documented over many years – deserve more than words, they deserve actual protection.

“No less than Royal Commissions and commissions of inquiry have found that these places are unsafe for children.

“It is frankly galling hearing from the same authorities that – against all the evidence and child welfare expert advice – continue to lock up kids as young as 10. They know better alternatives like community-led diversion programs already exist.

“Until they take the most obvious and proven step to truly care for some of the most vulnerable children in our country, then these words ring very hollow indeed.”

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