Welcome from Matthew Keeley
It is my great pleasure to present this year’s children’s rights edition of the Human Rights Law Centre Bulletin, developed in collaboration with King & Wood Mallesons, the Human Rights Law Centre and UNICEF Australia. I am pleased that the voice of young people appears in this year's edition, including through an interview with Rahila Haidary, one of UNICEF Australia’s Young Ambassadors.
This special edition is now in its sixth year. In that time it has reported on significant issues affecting children across Australia. This year’s edition continues this tradition, exploring the legal and human rights frameworks that affect our children and young people from their birth through their adolescence and beyond.
The articles on surrogacy and migration describe the complex legal situation that determines rights most of us take for granted – our parentage and nationality upon birth. Picking up on the issue of migration status, and exploring many other issues related to the detention and treatment of children, the article on Australia’s review under the Convention Against Torture emphasises that there is still work to be done to ensure that Australian laws afford children with the level of protection due to them under international law. From here, the article on the 2014 Children’s Rights Report outlines some of the specific things that we need to do to understand and address one of the major threats to young people’s health and well-being – self-harm.
The treatment, participation and protection of children arriving or residing in Australia and elsewhere require constant vigilance. We need look no further than the articles in this edition for support of that proposition. These articles call for governments across Australia to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children in Australia so that they can reach their fullest potential. They also recognise the positive things that Australia has to offer – particularly access to education, which was denied to Rahila Haidary in Afghanistan but has allowed her to flourish in Australia.
I thank King & Wood Mallesons, the Human Rights Law Centre and our newest contributor, UNICEF Australia for their generous support of this project. Since 2010, summer clerks and paralegals at King & Wood Mallesons have written the articles contained in these special editions and I extend my thanks to them for their diligence in shedding light on the inequalities and injustices affecting children across Australia.
Matthew Keeley is the Director of the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that material in this Bulletin (Material) is intended to contain matters which may be of interest. The Material is not, and is not intended to be, legal advice. The Material may be updated and amended from time to time. We endeavour to take care in compiling the Material; however the Material may not reflect the most recent developments. The Material represents the views and opinions of the individual authors and the Material does not represent the views of King & Wood Mallesons, UNICEF Australia, NCYLC or the HLRC or the views of the King & Wood Mallesons’ clients.