When children make mistakes, we should help them get back on track. But right now, children as young as 10 are getting trapped in the quicksand of the criminal justice system.
Across Australia, hundreds of primary school aged children are being arrested, hauled before the courts and locked away in concrete cells the size of a car parking space. Out of sight, out of mind.
Will you stand with us to fix our broken youth justice systems?
Abuse thrives in darkness. Over the past two years we’ve worked hard to shine a light on the horrific mistreatment of children in Australia’s youth jails.
Together with our partners, we helped to expose the horrors of Don Dale and made sure no child was left in the notorious Barwon maximum security adult jail.
This week, you can double the impact of your tax-deductible gift because donations to our Human Rights Week Appeal are being matched, dollar-for-dollar, by our sponsors.
Over the next 12 months we’ll be working with our partners to transform youth justice systems across Australia. We’ll be calling on governments to:
- Raise the age | Ten year olds should be in schools and playgrounds, not prisons. All Australian governments should raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14 years, in keeping with human rights standards.
- End cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment | No child should be locked away in solitary confinement, hooded or needlessly handcuffed, or subjected to the indignity of routine strip searches.
- Stop building dead end youth jails | The evidence is clear – jails fail children. Our governments should listen to the experts – diversion, education and small, home-like facilities work to get kids back on track.
- Address the over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children | All governments should implement Change the Record’s National Action Plan, so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are given every opportunity to thrive, with their families, in their communities.
- Implement independent oversight to prevent abuse | The Australian Government must ratify and implement the UN anti-torture protocol to ensure independent oversight of every place of detention, so that no government goes down the dark path of Don Dale again.
It’s time for a different approach. All children should be supported and given a decent chance to succeed in life.
Help us transform youth justice systems across Australia.
Thank you for standing with us.