The child safe journey: The role of organisations and families in upholding children’s rights

Family wellbeing
Wednesday 25 July, 1500 – 1520


Megan Mitchell
Australian Human Rights Commission

Imagine a future where the rights of every child – everywhere, every day – are honoured, protected and promoted.
This means that children and young people, families, service providers and policy makers should seek to understand the rights and obligations set out under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Building this understanding should emphasise the indivisible nature of children’s rights.

Organisations of various kinds can help children to fulfil many of their rights — in areas such as recreation and play, self-expression, learning and knowledge acquisition, developing social connections, and being active participants in their community. Children gain great benefits from being involved, for example, in their local sports club, schools, art, cultural and youth centres.

Families should also be confident that when their children are in the care of others they know that they are safe and doing well. By working collaboratively with organisations, families can help create safe environments for children.
This is a key aspect of the National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations — a project being undertaken by the Australian Human Rights Commission, with the support of the Commonwealth Department of Social Services. The goal is to promote national consistency and build cultures within organisational settings that advance the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people in Australia.

The National Principles are drawn from the work of the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse and Australian Children’s Commissioners and Guardians. The 10 Principles and related guidance material are underpinned by a child-rights, strength-based approach, designed to allow for flexibility in implementation, and are aligned with existing child safe approaches and state and territory regulations.