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Juvenile justice

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.

Children's Commissioners unite to protect children in custody

Australian Children’s Commissioners and Guardians are calling on governments to ensure youth justice detention is focused on rehabilitation, and the rights of children are protected when they’re in custody.

Governments must end youth detention abuse

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.

Intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviour in children

National Children's Commissioner examines intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviour in children

In 2014 the National Children’s Commissioner examined how children and young people under 18 years can be better protected from intentional self-harm, with or without suicidal intent.

Vulnerable children at the boundary of the criminal justice system

Keynote address at the Jesuit Social Services National Justice Symposium

Pushing the boundaries: rethinking the limits of children’s involvement in the criminal justice system.




1. Acknowledgments

Thank you, Father Frank Brenan, for your kind introduction. I also thank the Jesuit Social Services for the invitation to speak here this afternoon, at the opening of this important symposium on vulnerable children and the criminal justice system.

Right to humane treatment in detention

Wednesday 1 May, 2013

Learn how under human rights law, all Australians have the right to humane treatment while in detention and that adults and children must be separated.