SNAICC says The Children’s Report puts the spotlight on disadvantage
The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) has welcomed the release of the Australian Child Rights Taskforce The Children’s Report for UNICEF, saying that it sheds an important light on the widespread disadvantage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children face.
SNAICC said that The Children’s Report highlights that Australian governments must prioritise investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations, and facilitate the full participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in decisions affecting their children.
Encompassing contributions from leading non-government organisations in the sector, including SNAICC, the report was submitted to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child last week. The report plays an important role in holding the Australian Government accountable in an international arena, as it continues to be in breach of its international and national obligations.
Every five to six years, the UN Committee reviews the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by each of its state parties. Australia will be reviewed in 2019. As part of this process, the UN Committee accepts reports from non-government organisations (NGOs) on how they think Australia is faring against its obligation to respect, protect and promote the rights of Australia’s children and young people. The Children’s Report is the result of months-long consultations with children and young people, as well as NGOs, right across Australia.
SNAICC said that the report paints a grim picture: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children face poorer outcomes than non-Indigenous peers in many life areas; child protection, juvenile justice, accessing quality early childhood education and beyond. The findings in the UNICEF report are also said to reflect the findings of SNAICC’s Family Matters report, which is due to be released later this month.
Compelling the Australian governments at federal and state level to take concrete action based on the report findings, SNAICC also highlighted the connection between The Children’s Report and Closing the Gap targets,seeking an ultimate outcome of strengthening the current target for early childhood education by including early developmental outcomes for children from birth to five years.