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Youth Justice and Child Wellbeing Reform across Australia

Boy wearing hoodie behind a wire fence


The National Children’s Commissioner is conducting a project that investigates opportunities for reform of youth justice and related systems across Australia, based on evidence and the protection of human rights. The project will explore ways to reduce children’s involvement in crime, including through prevention and early intervention.

New report shares voices of children and families

A new report released today by the Australian Human Rights Commission highlights how important it is for governments to listen to children and families when making decisions about services and government policies that affect them.  

The Keeping kids safe and well – your voices report, led by National Children’s Commissioner Anne Hollonds, follows a request from the Australian Government Department of Social Services to find out what children and their families think would help keep children safe.

Pandemic: Serious impacts on kids

A new report analysing the issues children and young people raised in counselling sessions during COVID-19 shows they have experienced serious impacts on their mental health, social connections and education.

The report, which examines data from 2,567 counselling sessions with Kids Helpline, underscores the risk of vulnerable children falling through the cracks, and highlights the need for children and young people to be prioritised during and after the pandemic. 

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Friday 28 August, 2020

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in November 1989. The Convention came into force on 2 September 1990.

Read the Convention.


National poll to give voice to Australian children

Content type: Media Release

National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell is calling on Australia’s youngest citizens to have their voices heard in the 2018 Children’s Rights Poll.

The Poll was developed by the University of Melbourne and ABC’s Behind the News program, in consultation with the Australian Human Rights Commission and young Australians. 

“The results of the 2018 Children’s Rights Poll will provide an invaluable insight into what Australia must do to ensure the rights of all children are being upheld,” Commissioner Mitchell said.

We must act on lessons of Royal Commission

Content type: Media Release

The Australian Human Rights Commission acknowledges the survivors, witnesses and families who contributed to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and calls on all Australian governments to implement its final recommendations.

Governments must end youth detention abuse

Content type: Media Release

The Australian Human Rights Commission today expressed continuing and deep concern about the abuse of young people in detention.

“The focus on punitive measures is failing young people. A much better approach is to focus on effective early intervention, prevention and diversion programs,” said the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar.

The National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, said Australia has around 900 children and young people in youth justice detention at any one time.

There's no excuse for child abuse


Megan Mitchell, National Children's Commissioner

Earlier this year I visited the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin, along with a number of other centres where children are detained across the country. The purpose of the visits was to see how young people were being treated and how their rights were being protected. I toured the facilities and spoke to just under 100 children and young people in detention.

Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2016 – Yfoundations Launch Event

Thank you and good morning everyone.

I would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet today, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.

Submissions - examination of family and domestic violence affecting children


62 written submissions were received in response to the National Children's Commissioner's examination into the impact of family and domestic violence affecting children in 2015.

Submissions were received from individuals, government, private and non-government organisations.

Some submissions are redacted to protect privacy and confidentiality.