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Alasdair

Alasdair Roy OAM

Year of Award: 2015 Award State: Australian Capital Territory Social Welfare > Children Care And Protection
To examine the characteristics of successful child safe/child friendly policy and practice - Iceland, Norway, Sweden
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Recommendations

  1. State and Territory Governments, and the Commonwealth Government, should enshrine the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (the CRoC) into domestic legislation.
  2. State and Territory Governments, and the Commonwealth Government, should introduce on-going mechanisms to routinely and regularly seek the views of children and young people on issues that affect the lives of children and young people.
  3. All political parties that hold a seat in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth Government, should be required to publically identify a spokesperson who is responsible for promoting and protecting the rights of children and young people.
  4. All of these spokespeople (at Recommendation 3, above) should be required to undertake joint annual training by UNICEF, Australia, on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (the CRoC), and Australia’s obligations under the CRoC.
  5. State and Territory Governments, and the Commonwealth Government, should reduce the voting age to 16 years. It is suggested that voting for young people between 16 and 18 be allowed, but not compulsory.
  6. State and Territory Governments should take steps to prohibit the physical punishment of children and young people by removing the legal defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’, in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and recommendations of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.
  7. State and Territory Governments should increase the age of criminal responsibility from 10 years to 15 years and replace youth detention with community-based rehabilitation as far as possible.
  8. State and Territory Governments should increase the age at which people can buy and consume alcohol to 20 years and should substantially reduce the number of venues from which alcohol is available.
  9. The Commonwealth Government should introduce and fund a generous and universal Paid Parental Leave Scheme.
  10. The Commonwealth Government should introduce and fund a universally free Early Education and Care Scheme.
  11. State and Territory Governments should provide free accommodation to women leaving violent domestic relationship.
  12. State and Territory Governments should introduce and fund UNICEF’s Rights Respecting Schools program in all public schools.
  13. State and Territory Governments should introduce and fund a school-based program to teach all students about their rights and the integrity of their bodies, incorporating a program to teach students how to comfortably and effectively articulate feelings of being unsafe.
  14. State and Territory Governments should establish centres based on the Barnahus model to respond to children and young people who have may have experienced sexual harm, or significant physical harm.
  15. State and Territory Governments, and the Commonwealth Government, should commit to, and fund, a policy of genuine early intervention, and provide intensive support as soon as a child or young person, or their family, becomes known to the welfare system.
  16. State and Territory Governments, and the Commonwealth Government, should sufficiently fund ‘youth centres’ to allow them to become genuine and integral partners in the provision of services for children and young people.
  17. State and Territory Governments should establish and fund genuine and culturally appropriate inclusion programs and support for newly arrived children and young people.
  18. State and Territory Governments should establish and fund programs to allow newly arrived migrant school students to be taught in the language of their birth until proficient in English.
  19. State and Territory Governments, and the Commonwealth Government, should commit to policy and practice that is evidence-based and supported by research and evaluation.
  20. State and Territory Governments should evaluate the SOS Children’s Villages model to determine if it should be implemented in Australia.

Awards and Honours

  • 2016 awarded Medal of the Order of Australia for service to children and young people through advocacy roles.
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