Why are Young People’s Rights Important?
Children’s rights are human rights. In focusing on improving the health and future of Australia’s children, we improve life for all of our country’s people.
It means focusing on long-term solutions and sustainability, in building strong and healthy children with good educations and plenty of job prospects, living in harmony with their natural environment and prosperous and inclusive community.
This sounds like just an ideal, but I refuse to believe that. This can, and should, be our reality.
Doesn’t the UN Charter ensure our human rights are protected?
While basic and important human rights are provided for under the UN charter, Australia at this point in time, hasn’t entrenched these by law.
So, while the Australian government supports the protection of human right and the rights of the child, it doesn’t uphold these constitutionally.
And Australia’s children don’t have the legal capacity to claim these rights if our government is breaching them or denying them. Which it knowingly does so, every day.
Human rights experts recommend that Australia enact its own human rights bill, and surprisingly, we are actually the only liberal democracy that hasn’t yet done so.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN in 1948 as the basic rights and freedoms that all human beings should be entitled to. It is a treaty, not a binding law, so on its own can’t be enforced against the countries that signed it.
It is more a belief and underlying principle that expresses basic values and should influence law.
It includes a number of fundamental, legal, economic and social rights, including the right to life and freedom, as well as to basic health and education.
The Convention of the Rights of the Child was adopted in 1989, and ratified by Australia the following year. Ratification is generally considered to be a symbolic gesture by countries, and while promising and admirable, isn’t legally binding on the government.
Across the world, children and adults are trying to hold their governments accountable for breaches of their human rights
Governments who are proven to have had for decades vital information about climate change and the effects of carbon emissions yet not acted on it are being held legally culpable by their people.
Human Rights laws are relied upon to force governments and big business to take immediate action to stop burning fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions.
Governments make decisions every day that not only directly affect people’s lives, but that put people’s lives in danger. Some of these decisions endanger mental and physical health, impact the future of our natural environment and take away every child’s access to a long life of well-being and opportunity.
Why Vote for Young People’s Rights?
I want there to be a Young People's Rights bill enacted in Australia to give Australian children the best possible chance at life, and to make the government start making wiser and more socially conscious decisions in the laws they make.
I intend to work towards:
- The creation of a Young People's Rights bill allowing Australia’s children the legal capacity to assert these rights that the UN Charter is intended to give them
- The creation of a Young People's Impact Statement, a regulatory impact statement that must accompany each new piece of legislation to ensure the negative impact of these laws is controlled
- The creation of a focused Children and Youth Portfolio within the government, which ensures that the welfare of children is not a peripheral issue to other parliamentary concerns. This portfolio will be responsible for upholding the Young People's Rights bill and Young People's Impact Statement. It will also ensure that all children receive dedicated resources to meet their entrenched human rights including health, well-being, education, and opportunity.