An Aboriginal girl holds a lantern in the dark, another girl sits beside her

Victoria can show national leadership on raising the age

Amnesty International Australia has welcomed a Bill before the Victorian State Parliament which seeks to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14.

Amnesty International Australia Indigenous Rights Advisor, Rodney Dillon, said:

“This is an important step in the right direction to keep our kids out of jail.

“We’ve known that the report commissioned by the Council of Attorney-Generals, all the child health and rights experts agree and it’s the international standard, so there is no credible argument left against raising the age.

“We all know in our hearts that it’s wrong to lock little kids up, especially when all the evidence shows that diversion and justice reinvestment is what actually prevents youth offending.

Amnesty International Australia has been campaigning for all governments to raise the age of criminal responsibility since 2015. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child issued General Comment 24 in 2019, which encouraged states to raise the age of criminal responsibility to at least fourteen.