Children and Young People


The Australian Greens believe that:

1. All children and young people have a universal and immutable right to agency, safety, bodily autonomy, privacy, education, housing, social support, mental and physical healthcare, and a sustainable environment regardless of their circumstances. These rights are inherent in all children and young people and must be promoted and recognised in all interpersonal, community, institutional, and structural settings.

2. Young people have a right to participate in decision-making and policy creation in their communities. This right should be supported in all procedural and institutional settings and recognised as essential to successful policy creation and implementation. Where an issue overwhelmingly affects young people, they should be supported to lead the creation of all policy responses.

3. The climate crisis poses an immediate threat to the rights of children and young people. Failure to address anthropogenic climate change is an act of profound intergenerational injustice. As children and young people will experience the climate crisis for the longest period of time, the consideration of the impact of the climate crisis on their rights must be central to all decision-making and policy creation.

4. The rights of children and young people, particularly the rights to privacy, safety, and agency, should be promoted and recognised within the contemporary social context with particular attention towards their participation in digital contexts and spaces.

5. The rights of young people at work should be promoted and recognised in all employment contexts, including the rights to freedom of association, collective bargaining, freedom from all forms of discrimination, and adequate pay for time and work.

6. Institutionalisation is invariably detrimental to the health and wellbeing of children and young people. 'See First Nations policy principles' 


The Australian Greens want:

1.  Funding programs, service delivery and decisions regarding child protection to advance the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

2. To ensure that children and young people have the means to express themselves in their community and contribute to decision-making and policy-creation at all levels of government, through better funding the National Children's Commissioner and other federal and state/territory youth advisory bodies.

3. Greater national and state coordination in children and youth policy formulation.

4. A guaranteed adequate and secure allowance income for young people to enable full participation in education and training opportunities.

5.Improved education and opportunities for secure and satisfying employment including in remote, rural and regional areas.

6.  Eliminate poverty and homelessness among children and young people. 

7. Affordable, accessible and secure housing options for young people, especially for those in transition from at-risk situations.

8. A significant reduction in the rates of suicide and mental illness among children and young people including through effective and accessible mental health services.

9. Strategies for prevention and early intervention to help set up children and young people for lifelong success, reduce future harm and costs to society.

10. Adequately funded, effective and accessible services for children and young people, particularly for addressing mental health, suicide, drug and substance use, sexual and reproductive health, disability or special care and protection needs.

11. Programs to divert young people from the criminal justice system and reduce the risk of reoffending, including justice reinvestment programs and raising the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 years. 

12. Imprisonment to be an absolute last resort for children and young people who have committed serious violent or dangerous offences, noting existing and potential new alternatives to imprisonment.

13. Electoral law reform to allow young people aged 16 and 17 to vote.

14. Fund a national youth peak body organisation with a presence in each state and territory to increase national and state coordination with children and youth in policy creation.

15. Increase funding to states and territories to provide funding to state-based youth peak bodies and youth-led organisations.

16. The promotion of healthy food, including a ban on junk food advertising on media platforms and content aimed at children.

17. An increased investment in programs that focus on community awareness, prevention and reporting of abuse, neglect and exploitation of, and violence against, children and young people.

18. Well-funded, high quality services for child survivors of violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

19. Increase the age of leaving out-of-home care to at least 21 years, so young people who still need support are not abandoned or left homeless.

20. The development of new, and improvement of existing, education and preventive health programs for children and young people, particularly in disadvantaged areas. Programs for young people should be developed in partnership with young people and their communities.

21.  To increase programs and services to redress inequitable outcomes for First Nations children and young people, that are led, co-designed and delivered by First Nations peoples.

22. Dedicated programs and services to address the needs of young people from diverse communities, including multicultural, CALD, disabled, and LGBTIQ youth.

23. Support policies and programs which recognise and promote the rights of disabled children and young people and remove barriers to the realisation of these rights. 

24. Support policies and programs which empower children and young people to participate in online social contexts in line with their rights to safety, privacy, and bodily autonomy.

25. Measures to address the sexualisation of children and young people in media and advertising.

26. National planning standards that ensure children have appropriate access to quality outdoor green spaces for the promotion of their physical, psychological and social health.

(Children and Young People policy as amended by Special National Conference August 2020.)