SNAICC Family Matters – Kids safe in culture, not in care

Family Matters – Kids safe in culture, not in care is an initiative led by the Secretariat National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) and driven by a National Coordinating Group.

Family Matters has a four year plan to halve the number of children across Australia in out-of-home care by 2018. Early childhood development and child protection legislation, policy and practices vary across Australia. In order to reduce the number of children in out-of-home care a state/territory based approach needs to be adopted.

For more information contact Emma Sydenham emmas@snaicc.asn.au

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UNICEF Submission to the Attorney General’s Department on the Amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Published in April 2014.

UNICEF Australia opposes the proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (RDA). While the proposed amendments specifically define vilification, removing the terms ‘insult’, ‘offend’ and ‘humiliate’, has the prospect of lowering community standards and values, in relation to racial vilification and hatred. Such a change risks further marginalising already vulnerable groups by weakening protections for people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and ethnic minority groups. Young people in Australia are particularly susceptible to a weakening of these protections due to their specific vulnerabilities.

The submission is available for download below.

 

For more information please contact Amy Lamoin at UNICEF Australia

Email: alamoin@unicef.org.au Phone: (02) 8917 3220

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UNICEF Submission to the Australian Government, Department of Communication on Enhancing Online Safety for Children

Published in March 2014.

UNICEF Australia welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Department of Communications, on the subject of enhancing online safety for children and building positive digital citizenship.

The Internet offers genuine benefits for children, including access to information and culture, new ways to participate in multiple areas of public life and to be heard. In particular, the Internet has provided an important access pathway for some children living in regional and remote Australia, and children who live with disabilities who are physically isolated. It has also enabled children to stay connected with family and extended family who are living overseas. However, emerging digital technologies also present significant risks to children and young people.

These issues will be discussed in this submission.

For more information, please contact Amy Lamoin at UNICEF Australia at alamoin@unicef.org.au or phone (02) 8917 3220.

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NATSILS – Good intentions aren’t enough to close the gap

Today the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) invite Prime Minister Tony Abbott to match his good intent with firm commitment and action.

NATSILS Chairperson, Shane Duffy, said that the Prime Minister has demonstrated his best intent towards addressing the disadvantage faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples but that what is needed now is turning good intentions into strong leadership and real action.

“Mr Abbott has repeatedly talked about his commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and has demonstrated such by moving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs into the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet where it can receive the attention it requires,” Mr Duffy said.

“While these initial steps are good signs that his intent and commitment are genuine, we are now reaching the point where the public are expecting greater leadership and definitive action.”

Mr Duffy said that the Government, led by the Prime Minister, needs to drive real change in a way that previous governments have failed to before, and recognise that addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage cannot be siloed amongst different areas of government service delivery and that addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration rates is as critical a part of the equation as progress in education, health and housing if we are to ever ‘close the gap’.

“Recent Commonwealth Government reports such as the Doing Time – Time for Doing report which followed an inquiry into the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in the criminal justice system, as well as non-government experts have all argued that progress in the other areas of the Closing the Gap policy program will not be achieved unless action is taken in the justice space,” Mr Duffy said.

“The Safe Communities Building Block of Closing the Gap is the only area that does not have a national partnership agreement with targets to ensure that funding is committed to enable action, that such action is nationally coordinated and that identified outcomes are achieved”.

Mr Duffy said that prior to last year’s election, all major political parties gave bipartisan commitment to introduce Closing the Gap justice targets in relation to reducing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration rates, but that the Coalition had started to step back from this commitment recently.

“We are disappointed that the Government has wavered from their previous commitment and call on the Prime Minister to honour his Government’s promises and commence consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experts from relevant sectors to design appropriate justice targets and the priorities for an associated national partnership agreement,” Mr Duffy said.
“Mr Abbott has an opportunity to show some real leadership here and while we recognise that progress will not be made overnight, what we need from the Prime Minister is long-term vision, steadfast commitment and action that goes beyond good intentions.”

Media contact: Rachel O’Brien 0438 748 389 or rachel.obrien@atsils.org.au

Download the media release here.

SNAICC Submission into the Productivity Commission: Inquiry into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning

SNAICC welcomes the opportunity to participate in the discussion on the future of the Budget Based Funded (BBF) program for early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. BBF services have provided a fundamental support to children, families and communities for decades. Being owned and run by communities has meant that their understanding of and relationships with communities has enabled effective and responsive programs that build on community and cultural strengths, and attain great outcomes for children and families. Despite significant challenges in funding, infrastructure and workplace development support, these services continue to be a bedrock for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families around Australia.This review provides an opportunity to redress some of the challenges that BBF services face and better enable them to provide quality, culturally safe environments in which children will flourish.

Published 10 February 2014, the submission is available for download below.

 

For more information contact Emma Sydenham at SNAICC emmas@snaicc.asn.au

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UNICEF Australia Submission to the Interdepartmental Committee Review of Inter-Country Adoption

The Australian Committee for UNICEF is committed to the principles outlined in The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect to Inter-Country Adoption (the Hague Adoption Convention) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 (CRC), and we note that Australia is a signatory to both Conventions. In particular, UNICEF is committed to the best interest of the child as a guiding and foundational principle in consideration of any potential changes to the existing inter-country framework and associated services.

UNICEF acknowledge the assistance of DLA Piper Australia (DLA Piper) in drafting this submission and DLA Piper’s on-going support and contribution to UNICEF.

For more information please contact Amy Lamoin at UNICEF Australia at alamoin@unicef.org.au or phone (02) 8917 3220.

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UNICEF Submission on Birth Registration to OHCHR

UNICEF Australia welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the OHCHR on the subject of birth registration. Birth registration is a necessary step for all children in order to access their rights to an identity and nationality, as well as access to health, education and community services.

Article 7 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child provides that all governments must ensure under law that all children must be registered immediately after birth and have the right to a name, nationality and to be cared for by their parents as far as that is possible.

For more information, please contact Amy Lamoin at UNICEF Australia at alamoin@unicef.org.au or phone (02) 8917 3220.

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Taskforce Submission on the Child Development and Wellbeing Bill 2013

Published 25 October 2013 by James McDougall on behalf of the Australian Child Rights Taskforce.

These comments are provided following the final community consultation forum on the Bill held on Tuesday 22 October 2013 at State Library of South Australia, Adelaide. The intent is to provide some final comments at the conclusion of the public consultation and in light of the changes that have already been made to the Bill.

The submission is available for download below.

 

For more information contact James McDougall

Email: jmcd@ihug.com.au

Phone: 0419 243 179

 

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