Join our call to #RaiseTheAge or criminal responsibility. Sign our petition today.
Right now across Australia, children as young as ten can be arrested, charged and sent to prison.
Australia has one of the lowest ages of criminal responsibility in the world. This is in clear violation of human rights standards and is completely out of step with the advice of doctors and child development experts that says kids do best when they’re with their families and in their communities, not behind bars.
Locking up children damages their health and wellbeing, but each year across Australia, close to 600 children are locked up and thousands more are hauled through the criminal legal system. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are hit hardest by punitive approaches.
Kids belong in classrooms and playgrounds, not courtrooms or prison cells.
There has been a chorus of calls both nationally and internationally for Australia to raise the age of criminal responsibility, including from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, expert United Nations bodies, medical bodies, academics and human rights organisations.
It’s time for all state and territory governments to do what’s rights and raise the age to prevent children aged 10 to 13 years being sent to prison. It’s time for a fairer, more just legal system.