Many children in Australia enjoy the benefits of good economic conditions and the protections of a democratic society.
However, that is not the case for a significant number of children. As UNICEF’s Report Card 13
recently highlighted, many children in Australia are falling behind in key indicators relating to education and health. In Queensland in particular, recent years have also seen a concerning upward trend of children in criminal detention, in addition to the continued treatment of children who are 17 years old as adults within the criminal justice system.
One way that the situation of children in Queensland could be improved is through strengthening the legislative human rights framework of that state.
We know that human rights are important to Australians, particularly rights to an adequate standard of living (including housing), education and healthcare. We also know through the work of the UNICEF Australia Young Ambassadors, that rights are important to children and young people.
A human rights act has been introduced in Victoria and the ACT, and now the Queensland Parliament is conducting a human rights inquiry
to consider whether the State should also adopt a human rights act.