Children in Focus
1 October 2001 at 1:10 pm
This month sees a number of national and international events putting children in focus in the areas of health and welfare, legal issues and even using the Internet to link children around the world.
Specialists in children’s issues from around Australia and overseas are meeting in Brisbane next week for a two-day forum on children’s legal issues.
The Children’s Legal Issues Forum, on October 3 and 4, is being organised by the Queensland Law Society under the auspices of the 2001 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Brisbane.
The forum aims to highlight specific legal disadvantages suffered by children and develop a set of recommendations for governments and related bodies at state, national and international levels.
Around 85 delegates representing government departments, community organisations, universities, children’s organisations and the legal and medical professions will attend the forum.
Up to 20 speakers will discuss a range of children’s issues, followed by an issues workshop. Subjects include the age of childhood and its legal ramifications, discipline and children’s rights in education, the legal representation of children, and children and the media.
Queensland Law Society President Joe Tooma says the forum is an example of how the legal community could have a positive influence on issues affecting children.
He says children don’t have a vote or a voice, which is why the legal profession is speaking up for them. It’s an ideal opportunity to discuss legal issues with ramifications throughout the Commonwealth.
However he says this forum is not going to be a talkfest. It’s about making decisions and calling for real action to ensure children’s rights throughout Australia and the Commonwealth are preserved and enhanced.
The Law Society will produce a report containing the papers submitted and Forum recommendations, with the report being sent to those organisations responsible for implementing the recommendations.
A national conference addressing the health care needs of marginalised children and young people starts in Sydney on October 11th.
The conference is hosted by the Australian Association of the Welfare of Child Health in NSW.
Topics range from child advocacy, aboriginal health, dealing with the effects of hospitalisation, and various issues relating to children with disabilities.
For more information check out the web site at www.uws.edu.au/community/awch/.
Is your web site for children?
Cable and Wireless are running a unique international competition that rewards children, and those who work with them, in developing outstanding Internet sites which directly benefit other children.
There are three categories for the 2002 Childnet Awards for individuals, schools and Not for Profit organisations. For information and a chance to see some examples of how children are using the Internet for good check out the web site at www.childnetawards.org.