The will is there to raise the age, now we need action

Responding to the Communique from the Council of Attorneys-General today in Adelaide which progressed the review of raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility of 14, Amnesty International Australia Indigenous Rights Manager Tammy Solonec said:

“We know there is the will to raise the age in Australia, but it’s disappointing that the Communique hasn’t noted that. This is, though, a significant step forward in seeing Australia heed the advice of all the experts and bring us in line with international standards.

“Progressing the review is the right thing to do. However we’ve been discussing this for a long time and now the conversation must include committing to implementation plans.

“The longer the Attorneys-Generals delay, the more children get caught in the quicksand of the youth justice system, and we can’t sit idly by and watch this happen. Steps need to be taken now to get kids out of prison.”

This morning, Amnesty International activists placed 603 teddy bears on the steps of South Australian Parliament representing the 603 young people aged 10-13 in prison on an average night.

More than 57,000 people have signed Amnesty International’s petition calling on governments to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility.