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Save the Children Australia responds to Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights report

Save the Children Australia welcomes the recommendation by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights to enact a Federal Human Rights Act, following an inquiry into Australia’s current framework.
30 May 2024

Save the Children Australia CEO Mat Tinkler said that legislating a robust federal Human Rights Act would fundamentally improve the rights of children in Australia. 
 
“There has long been a gap in Australian legislation when it comes to human rights, and the report handed down today by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights gives the government a clear mandate to ensure the rights of everyone, including children, are better protected,” Mr Tinkler said.  

Save the Children Australia, and its Australian service delivery arm, 54 reasons, also welcomes the recommendation that public authorities must have a ‘participation duty’, which would help ensure children can participate in decisions that directly or disproportionately affect them.  
 
“Children and young people must be engaged in the decisions that will ultimately impact their lives,” said Mr Tinkler.   
 
“In order to make any legislation fit for purpose, children must be consulted and engaged throughout the process and their lived experience must be recognised.”  

The report’s proposed inclusion of the right to a healthy environment is another important win for children. 

“At its core, the climate crisis is a child rights crisis. Given Australia was one of the 161 UN member states that voted in favour of the resolution that recognises the ‘right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment’, it is only right that this be included in a Federal Human Rights Act.” 
 
Save the Children Australia and 54 reasons also recognise the importance of a Federal Human Rights Act substantively recognising the right to self-determination and support the report’s recommendation to engage with First Nations organisations, and communities on how this should be achieved. 
 
ENDS

MEDIA CONTACT: Mala Darmadi on 0425562113 or media.team@savethechildren.org.au. 

Notes to Editors:

Save the Children’s full submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry into Australia’s human rights framework is available here. 
 
Save the Children Australia’s Youth Advisor Mx. Dante Casanova along with Save the Children Australia representatives provided evidence to the Parliamentary Joint Committee’s public hearing on 25 August 2023.

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