25 years ago, The UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (1989) was released. Australia, along with many other nations ratified the convention and are bound to it by International Law. It is a really important international charter that sets out the rights that each and every child is entitled to and aims to build a better world for children and calls on governments to take responsibility for children’s well-being and development.
Australia adopted these rights in 1990 and The CREATE Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that all children and young people in care know about their rights.
Today a landmark report was released that reflects Australia’s progress on the UN Convention of the Rights of a Child. The report which has been prepared by the Australian Child Rights Taskforce, Australia’s peak child rights network made up of more than 100 organisations advocating for the protection, promotion and fulfilment of the rights of children in Australia, includes The CREATE Foundation. CREATE was very excited and honoured to be able to contribute to the out-of-home care chapter in the report.
While Australia can be viewed as “the lucky country”, for some children it’s not so lucky. The report reveals that:
– 18% of all children in Australia live below the poverty line.
– Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 2.5% of Australia’s population but 25% of the homeless population.
– Children with disability are three to four times more likely to experience sexual abuse than their peers, with many not having the language or ability to communicate their abuse.
– 80% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children report abuse at school, leading to reduced concentration, missed days at school, or are dropping out of school altogether.
While these figures are alarming, CREATE’s response in the report is focused on the increasing numbers of children and young people in care; the importance of children and young people’s voice; the issue of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in out-of-home care; the need for improvements to transitioning from care and the need for independent oversight mechanisms.
To download and view the report, please go to http://www.unicef.org.au/blog/june-2016/for-many-children-australia-is-not-the-lucky-country.