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Save the Children applauds Tasmania’s transformative youth justice reforms

Save the Children welcomes the Tasmanian Government's commitment to transformative changes outlined in their new Youth Justice Blueprint
07 December 2023

This significant step positions Tasmania as the first jurisdiction in Australia to commit to raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 14 with no exceptions, along with other significant reform.

As a leading child rights organisation, Save the Children delivers rights-based youth justice programs in Tasmania through its Australian service delivery arm, 54 reasons.

In response to the reforms announced Wednesday, David O’Sign, Tasmania Director for 54 reasons, said:

“We commend the Tasmanian Government for its new approach to youth justice reform. By raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 14 with no exceptions, and elevating the age of criminal detention to 16, Tasmania is leading the way in prioritising the rights and wellbeing of children.

“While this is an important milestone, we note that the implementation of these changes is set for 2029. We encourage the Tasmanian Government to expedite the process to ensure that the benefits of these reforms are realised sooner, promoting a safer and more just community.”

The Youth Justice Blueprint signals an important shift toward a therapeutic model of care for some of the state’s most vulnerable young people, and recognises the importance of children’s rights in its approach. 

“Embracing an evidence-based therapeutic model of care is critical to meeting the complex needs of young individuals in the justice system,” Mr O’Sign said.

“Recognising the fundamental principle that youth justice reform should be rooted in child rights principles is commendable, and sets a powerful precedent for other jurisdictions across the country to follow.”

As an organisation deeply invested in the welfare of children and young people, Save the Children and 54 reasons look forward to collaborating with the Tasmanian Government in the design and implementation of these changes. 

Actively engaging with children and young people who have lived experience of the youth justice system, and incorporating their perspectives in the design and implementation of these reforms, will contribute to the Blueprint's effectiveness – ultimately ensuring that it addresses the unique challenges they face.

“We are optimistic that the government, sector partners, young people and the wider community can work together to create a more just, safe and compassionate youth justice system in Tasmania,” Mr O’Sign said.


MEDIA CONTACT: Holly Robertson on +61 414 546 656 or

Notes to Editors: 

  • In April, Save the Children and 54 reasons released Putting children first: A rights respecting approach to youth justice in Australia, a report that detailed widespread child rights abuses in Australia's youth justice system.
  • 54 reasons, Save the Children’s Australian service delivery arm, works in almost 200 communities and locations across the country. 54 reasons delivers quality services to children and families to support child development, diverts young people from the justice system, responds to domestic and family violence, and amplifies children’s voices and participation in decision making.

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