Save the Children Backs New ‘Children’s Commissioner’ Bill
Wednesday, 21st April 2010 at 3:35 pm
|Children calling for a National Children’s Commissioner outside Kirribilli House|
Children’s rights organisation, Save the Children, is calling on all political parties to improve the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in Australia by supporting a new Bill for a National Children’s Commissioner.
The Commonwealth Commissioner for Children and Young People Bill 2010 was announced in Sydney outside Kirribilli House by the Australian Greens on the 21 April.
Children from a local Sydney school supported the launch by calling for a Children’s Commissioner using an oversized megaphone outside the Prime Minister’s Sydney residence at Kirribilli House.
Save the Children believes that by monitoring government policies and practices relating to children, promoting and protecting their rights and being an independent advocate for them at the highest levels, a National Children’s Commissioner would give greater protection to vulnerable and disadvantaged children in Australian society.
The Australian Greens will move a bill to establish a Commonwealth Commissioner for Children and Young People in the Budget session on Federal Parliament in May.
Greens Senator and spokesperson on Youth and Human Rights, Sarah Hanson-Young says far too many children and young people in Australia are slipping through the cracks of society.
Senator Hanson-Young says from children who are bullied at school, to the babies, infants and kids who are victims of abuse or neglect, to the thousands of children and young people who are homeless on our streets every night, there is a vulnerable generation of young Australians that need help.
She says there is no national figure whose sole role is to stand up for children’s rights – but there should be. The Bill aims to establish a Commissioner who would provide a voice for children, a means of communication with government, and a simple way to register complaints about how they are treated.
The bill has been drafted in consultation with Save the Children, who have endorsed the legislation. Other groups such as UNICEF and the Human Rights Commission have previously strongly supported the need for a national body to protect children’s rights.