Organisations reject calls for Royal Commission into Aboriginal children
[supplied by SNAICC]
Child abuse is a serious crime, which has a devastating impact on children, family and communities.
The safety of children should not be politicised or used as a platform to advance a political position.
It is frustrating and disappointing to hear the Opposition Leader and Senator Price repeating the same claims and calls they made earlier this year, again with no evidence and no credible solutions.
If any politician, or anyone at all, has any evidence about the sexual abuse of children then they must report it to the authorities.
These calls for a Royal Commission into the sexual abuse of Aboriginal children have been made without one shred of real evidence being presented. They play into the basest negative perceptions of some people about Aboriginal people and communities.
In April this year, the Australian Child Maltreatment Study revealed the majority of Australians (62 per cent) have experienced at least one type of child abuse or neglect, with domestic violence, physical, emotional or sexual abuse the most common.
Child abuse is far too prevalent in Australia full stop.
Singling out Aboriginal families and communities is harmful and puts ideology before evidence. The most recent Child Protection Australia data release, by the AIHW, shows that Indigenous children were less likely to be the subject of a substantiated notification of child sexual abuse in 2021-22 (6.8%of substantiations) than were non-Indigenous children (9% of substantiations).
The evidence and the solutions are very clear.
There have been more than 33 reports into child protection since the Bringing Them Home Report in 1997.
SNAICC produces an annual report, Family Matters, and has done so for many years, which details the evidence-based solutions that will enable our children to grow up safe, loved and protected. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations have developed these solutions.
They prioritise Investment in effective, culturally safe supports for families and children before they reach crisis point through Aboriginal community-controlled services.
The most effective and immediate action Government can take to make children safe and protect their human rights is to stand up a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Commissioner, with the legislated power to investigate and make recommendations on issues impacting our children.
This will be more effective and more powerful than any Royal Commission. We have been calling for a National Commissioner for many years. We now call for bipartisan support to make this happen.
SNAICC– National Voice for Our Children
Coalition of Peaks on Closing the Gap
Life Without Barriers
National Coalition for Child Safety and Wellbeing
ACT Children and Young People’s Commissioner Jodie Griffiths-Cook
WA Commissioner for Children and Young People Jacqueline McGowan-Jones
SAFeST Start Coalition
Act for Kids
MacKillop Family Services
National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing Research
Professor Catherine Chamberlain
Onemda Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing
Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future
Replanting the Birthing Trees
Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies
Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare
Australian Education Union
ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body
Tony McAvoy SC
Dr Graham Gee
Indigenous Allied Health Australia
Zoe Robinson - Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People
National Health Leadership Forum
Partnership for Justice in Health
Child and Family Focus SA
Distinguished Professor Marcia Langton
NT Land Councils Joint Statement about Referendum [by Rachael Chisholm] They come into the health practitioners before seeing the Doctor, we do all their observations, and also have yarns with them about any social or emotional issues, any concerns or underlying conditions that may have come up since they last spoke to a doctor or nurse.
Boy dies after being detained at Casuarina Prison's Unit 18 while on remand [Keane Bourke and Nicolas Perpitch, ABC] The 16-year-old boy, who took his own life, is understood to be the first young person to die in detention in Western Australia since modern records began in 1980.
Indigenous groups reject Peter Dutton's push for a royal commission into child sexual abuse [Tom Lowrey, ABC] Indigenous children's advocates and medical bodies have criticised a call from the Coalition for a royal commission into child sexual abuse in Indigenous communities, arguing the issue should not be politicised.