UNICEF is concerned with the rights of all children and young people.
Every child has rights.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child in everything we do, including children in Australia. We do this by protecting and promoting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and working to understand the everyday lives of children and young people in Australia. We advocate for changes and improvements, at both government and community level, to ensure all children can reach their full potential by having access to their full rights.
We report on how well Australia protects children’s rights
Alongside the National Children’s Youth Law Centre (NCYLC), UNICEF Australia co-leads Australian Child Rights Taskforce (ACRT), a group of over 100 child-focused organisations and experts, which reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The Taskforce reports to the Committee in a five-year cycle to ensure that the Committee has a full understanding of how well children’s rights are upheld in Australia, and can make the most practical and timely recommendations to the Australian Government about how to improve the lives of children and young people in Australia.
One of UNICEF’s strengths, both internationally and in Australia, is our ability to work openly and collaboratively with governments to further the experience and exercise of the rights of children. In Australia, we support Government’s efforts to create policies that are in the best interest of children and young people, hold the Government accountable for its responsibility to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and bring issues in the lives of children and young people to the attention of policy-makers in order to bring about change.
We work with children and young people, for children and young people. UNICEF recognises the importance of consulting children and young people in decisions that affect their lives. In the work we do with decision makers and government in Australia, we take into account what children and young people tell us is important to them. Supporting their participation means empowering them to express their views, providing purposeful ways to engage and allowing them real opportunities to influence decision-making and change.
Children’s rights are influenced and impacted by their everyday experiences - where they play, how they learn, who they live with, the information they access and where they get help when they get sick. We support children’s rights through initiatives in the Australian community, such as the Child Friendly Cities Initiative, and the Baby Friendly Health Initiative which help community organisations, like local councils and hospitals, strengthen rights for children. We also work with schools through consultations with children and young people and we support them to take action for children’s rights.