The Australian Greens are strongly backing the Change the Record Coalition calls on the Federal Government to adopt their 8-point National Plan of Action Free to be Kids to end the abuse and over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in prison.
“In light of the Royal Commission report into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory, Mr Turnbull must act urgently to get kids out of prison, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“Children do not belong in prison. The abuses that have come to light during the Don Dale Royal Commission have been horrendous and it’s time we as a Parliament and community did something about it. It cannot continue to go on under our watch.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities know what needs to be done, we’ve got the research, we’ve got the reports, let’s get on with it.
“It’s our national shame that we lock so many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids up. We keep failing Aboriginal kids and their communities.
“We’ve had the Royal Commission, we’ve heard the distressing and harrowing evidence. The message is loud and the message is clear – this can’t go on any longer.
“I urge Mr Turnbull to read this report, to work with Change the Record and commit to assisting the NT Government to fully implement the recommendations from the Don Dale Royal Commission.”
Over one hundred organisations have signed on to the Free to be Kids National Plan of Action.
The National Plan of Action 8-point plan is to
- Support children, families and communities to stay strong and together
- Raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14
- Get children who are not sentenced out of prison
- Adequately fund Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled legal and other support services
- End abusive practices in prisons
- Set targets to end the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in prison
- Improve collection and use of data
- Work through COAG to reform State and Territory laws that breach children’s rights
The full plan can be viewed here.