Children and young people have a fundamental right to be heard and taken seriously about matters affecting them. They have the same general human rights as adults, but also possess specific rights that recognise their special needs and potential.
This book explains how these rights are set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. It also examines the state of children’s rights in Australia, where there have been some positive developments, but also a number of critical issues and mixed results. The latest progress reports recommend that Australia improves its treatment of vulnerable children in certain areas, including reducing youth detention, raising the age of criminal responsibility, supporting youth mental health, advancing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, caring for asylum seeker and refugee children, addressing child abuse and neglect, and eliminating youth poverty.
What are the rights of parents in relation to raising their children, and why is it still legal for adults to hit children as punishment? A gap remains between the rights Australia has promised vulnerable children and how those rights are implemented. Are the human rights of our children and young people at risk?