07 NovELAA supports call for national commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Posted on 07 Nov 2019

ELAA has joined more than 80 organisations and commissioners in a call for a national commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in Australia.The call is being led by SNAICC – National Voice for our Children, the national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and the Family Matters campaign.

SNAICC and Family Matters have launched a joint position paper on the establishment of a national commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. Over 80 organisations and state-and-territory-based children’s commissioners and guardians have already endorsed the position paper. 

There is an urgent need to establish a dedicated national commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people who would provide oversight and accountability for services to improve and protect the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. A national commissioner would play a vital role providing a dedicated voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people at the national level. They would also support strategies for more effective collaboration and coordination both between and within governments.

The Family Matters Report 2019 and another report this month by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child show Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people experience widespread and persistent discrimination and disadvantage. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are 10.2 times more likely to be in out-of-home care than other  children and 17 times more likely to be in juvenile detention. They are 2.6 times more likely to be developmentally vulnerable than other children when they start school.

The position paper calls for a national commissioner role that must:
• be established by legislation to ensure independence and autonomy from government
• be filled by an identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person with appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience and appointed through a transparent process
• be mandated with a clear scope and purpose for the role
• be granted appropriate functions and powers to promote systemic change and accountability, including powers of inquiry and investigation
• be adequately resourced to perform its role effectively.

How you can help

ELAA encourages its members and friends to share and endorse  the position paper on the Establishment of a national commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people as widely as possible with your networks and on your social media platforms including #BecauseOfThemWeMust and #KidsCommissioner 

Go to Top