The Australian Human Rights Commission welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement today that a new position will be created for a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Commissioner.
Advocates and peak bodies representing Australia’s First Nations children have long sought a National Commissioner to promote the rights, interests and wellbeing of First Nations children and young people.
The Australian Human Rights Commission looks forward to the appointment of an interim Commissioner. It will work alongside the new Commissioner, First Nations communities and expert advisors, and the Federal Government.
Indigenous children are almost eleven times more likely to be in out-of-home care than non-Indigenous children.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar said: “First Nations children continue to be removed from their families at disproportionate rates – disrupting their connection to community and culture.”
Australia’s National Children’s Commissioner, Anne Hollonds said: “The tragic and continuing failure to address the needs of First Nations children is a massive human rights challenge for our country today.
“We need a co-ordinated national approach, properly resourced, to protect the human rights and wellbeing of First Nations children and young people, and their families.
“I welcome this announcement and I look forward to working closely with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Commissioner.”