Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva
Switzerland, Liechtenstein

statement678

Human Rights Council - 28th Regular Session

Clustered Interactive Dialogue with SRSG on Violence against Children
and SRSG on Children and Armed Conflict

Australian statement

11 March 2015

Australia thanks the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict for her Annual Report, and welcomes the observations and recommendations it outlines.

The continued progress on efforts to: end the recruitment of children, particularly by non-state armed groups; address the impact of military activities on schools; and ensure accountability for those who violate child rights during conflict is welcome.

However, there is still much to be done and new challenges emerging. We encourage the Council to take particular note of the recommendation that relates to the alarming threat posed by extremist groups for the protection and rehabilitation of children.

Australia also thanks the Special Representative for Violence against Children for her Annual Report. Domestically, Australia has two strategies to improve the safety and wellbeing of children. The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020 emphasises universal support, prevention and early intervention for vulnerable children and their families.

The National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2020 supports efforts to build support for children who have experienced, witnessed or been exposed to violence. Australia also has a strong coordinated response to child trafficking, early and forced marriage, and child sexual exploitation in travel and tourism.
In 2013, Australia appointed its first National Children’s Commissioner to advocate for children’s rights, with a statutory function to pay particular attention to children who are at risk.