Australia needs a safer debate for children following same-sex marriage survey result

SYDNEY, Wednesday 15 November 2017 – Now that the government’s national postal survey on same sex marriage has been completed and the result announced, UNICEF Australia encourages decision makers, community and religious leaders, the Australian media and other stakeholders to ensure that ongoing discussion and public debate on this matter is safe for and respectful of children and young people.
 
“Acknowledging that this area of public policy, and the result of the national postal survey are emotional and important subjects for many members of our community, we are taking this opportunity to remind people to think of emotional safety and wellbeing of children who may have parents or family members who are same-sex attracted or are same sex attracted themselves,” said Amy Lamoin, Director of Policy and Advocacy, of UNICEF Australia.
 
“In public discussion over coming weeks we should avoid the use of derogatory remarks, stereotypes, verbal abuse and acts of violence; be informed and evidence-based; non-discriminatory; and inclusive,” Ms Lamoin said. “Discussions should be safe and respectful for all children and young people.”
 
UNICEF Australia’s views on the rights of children in regard to the same sex marriage debate are firmly grounded in the guiding principles set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Non-discrimination (Article 2), Best interests of the Child (Article 3), and Child participation (Article 12).
 
The UNICEF Australia website contains a policy statement that explains our policy in relation to children and same-sex marriage debate in further detail.
 
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About UNICEF
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
 
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.au
 
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For more information, please contact:
Brinsley Marlay, UNICEF Australia, 0403 604 182, bmarlay@unicef.org.au