National children’s charity, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation has added our voice in calling on all Australian governments to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 years.
Despite overwhelming evidence of the harm incarceration causes children, a recent meeting of Attorneys-General delayed a decision on this important matter. This decision has deeply disappointed and distressed children’s advocates across the country.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recently urged all countries to raise the minimum age to 14.
On most days in Australia, there are about 600 children aged between 10-13 in criminal detention; of these, 65 per cent of these children are from Aboriginal or Torres Island families.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s CEO, Lesley Podesta, said that jail is not the place for a 10-year-old.
“Children need support, education, guidance and security. Jail is not the place for our children,” Lesley said.
The Foundation seeks to safeguard our most vulnerable Australians’ future together and endeavours to ensure that every child will live in a safe and supportive environment.
The Foundation will work with other organisations to #RaiseTheAge and calls on every Australian jurisdiction to act on this issue urgently.
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