Amnesty International Australia remains deeply concerned about the welfare of children in detention with many recommendations yet to be implemented since the Royal Commission into The Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.
“While the NT Government has made a step towards raising the age of criminal responsibility, one of the key recommendations of the Royal Commission, there remain equally important recommendations that haven’t been implemented,” Amnesty International Australia Indigenous Rights Lead Campaigner, Maggie Munn, said.
“Chief among them, closing Don Dale – let’s not forget this is a condemned adult prison that should never have been repurposed to house children.
“We’d like to see the NT Government – which accepted all of the recommendations back in 2017 – act immediately to close Don Dale and expedite raising the age to at least 14 without delay.
“Almost all kids in detention in the Northern Territory are First Nations and we have to do better for our kids.
“Community-led diversion programs have proved to be a much more effective way to address complex needs and the government needs to accept what they’re doing now isn’t just ineffective, it actively harms kids who need our help most.”
All kids have the right to be free, happy and safe – including First Nations kids. It’s time to put an end to the barbaric treatment of our children and overhaul our response to youth crime. Mistreatment of children is never okay. Act now and learn more about our child rights and Indigenous justice campaigns.