Australians At UN Child Rights Convention
28 September 2004 at 1:09 pm
A large contingent of Australian legal and welfare experts will take part in the 4th UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) in South Africa next year – and local NPFs are being asked to help provide an Australian report card!
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (the Convention) has been signed by all nations with the exception of the United States of America and Somalia.
In 2005 the Convention will have been in place for 15 years. 2005 marks an opportunity to report back on the success or otherwise of the implementation of the Convention.
According to organisers it’s a Report Card on non- compliance! A questionnaire has been formulated asking Australian Not for Profits to assist in collating information whether or not they are attending the Convention.
Partner with Melbourne law firm, Middletons, Sally Nicholes says the intention is to present and publish the findings of the questionnaire at the 4th World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights in Cape Town in March 2005.
Nicholes says the convention will explore the challenges ahead in securing rights to children in the 21st century.
The Congress will reflect on whether the UNCROC addresses the right issues, in the light of 21st century concerns with nationalism, identity and globalisation, or whether new approaches to protecting children’s rights are needed.
The Congress will address this theme through the following sub-themes:
– The effect of the UN Convention on the rights and lives of children in relation to specific issues, such as children in war, refugee children, the rights of indigenous children, HIV-AIDS and religious and cultural freedoms.
– The effects of the Convention in specific countries, regions or cultural contexts.
– Exploring the implications of the Convention for legal practice and legal process, such as the child’s right to participate in proceedings, post-separation financial security, or child-focussed legal practice.
– Examining issues of enforcement of Convention provisions through UN processes, domestic enforcement of international norms, and political processes.
The three-day event will see dozens of Australian experts delivering papers on a wide range of topics. Some of the speakers include:
the Chief Justice of the Family Court Diana Bryant and the former Chief
Justice, Alistair Nicholson, Federal Attorney General, Phillip Ruddock (pending the election) Justices Joseph Kaye and Richard Chisholm, Professor Patrick Parkinson from the University of Sydney, Stephen Ralph from the Family Court of Darwin , Naomi Brown, a Human Rights Officer with Youthlaw in Victoria, just to name a few.
Australian Not for Profits are also encouraged to take part in the Convention. Many global children’s organisations such as UNICEF are delivering key note addresses.
The NFP questionnaire can be filled out online at www.lawrights.asn.au/html/croc.htm.