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Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts, winner of the 2019 Young People's Human Rights Medal

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Receiving her award, Young People’s Human Rights Medal Winner Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts said, “The system does not work for our kids who are incarcerated - my mind and my spirit can't help but think of those young people that aren't here right now. “I ask that every single person assess your privilege and show up on the front line. We need to amplify those voices and we need to raise those voices.”


Australian and New Zealand Children's Commissioners and Guardians Communiqué: November 2019


Leading Advocates Deliver Human Rights Day Oration

At a moving event watched around Australia by survivors of child sexual abuse, two of the country’s most tireless champions for justice delivered the 2019 Human Rights Day Oration – Chrissie Foster AM and The Honourable Peter McClellan AM QC.

The Hon McClellan, who chaired the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, singled out the Catholic Church as the only institution whose leaders failed to recognise sexual assaults of children as a crime, as distinct from a moral failure.  

2019 Human Rights Day Oration

The Hon Peter McClellan AM QC

10 December 2019

Raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility

National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell released a scorecard today, on Universal Children’s Day, assessing outcomes for children’s rights across Australia and providing recommendations.

Children’s Rights in Australia: a scorecard


Children’s Commissioner to Release National Scorecard

National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell will release a scorecard today assessing outcomes for children rights across Australia

One of the scorecard’s most significant recommendations is to raise the age of criminal responsibility. It makes clear there is no good rationale for detaining children under the age of 14, in any form of detention. 

Children’s Commissioner Visits Indonesia

On October 22 and 23, National Children’s Commissioner Commissioner Megan Mitchell travelled to Bogor, Indonesia, to take part in a two-day conference on children’s right to a healthy environment, sponsored by range of agencies including the German and Indonesian Governments, UNICEF, the United Nations and Terre des Hommes.

Around fifty children and young people from around the region, as well as international experts, shared their experiences of land, air and water degradation and how this is impacting on children in their communities.

Every child’s right to good health is the focus of 2019 National Children’s Week

The right of all children to the highest standard of health care, including mental health care, is the focus of this year’s National Children’s Week, which runs October 19-27.

“The theme of Children’s Week 2019 is the right of every child to good health and wellbeing,” National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell said.

“As Australia’s National Children’s Commissioner, it gives me great pleasure to support this fundamental children’s right.”

UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty

The author of a ground-breaking global study on children spoke at the Oceania regional launch in Sydney on October 11.

Professor Manfred Nowak, the Independent Expert leading the global study found that a minimum of 1.5 million children around the world each year are deprived of their liberty across a variety of settings, with negative impacts on the wellbeing of children.

“The principle is that children should never be behind bars.  Every child behind bars is one too many, and there are millions behind bars,” Professor Nowak said.