Children and Young People | Australian Greens

Children and Young People

Children and young people must have greater opportunities to participate in decision making affecting their lives.

Principles

The Australian Greens believe that:

  1. Children and young people have a right to a loving and nurturing environment which is free of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination.
  2. To reach their full potential and live a healthy life, children and young people should have equitable access to resources, education and opportunities for personal growth, lifelong learning, and participation in decision making about their lives.
  3. The needs and views of young people should be taken into account by all those involved in developing and implementing policies that impact on young people.
  4. All children and young people have a right to access appropriate services regardless of where they live or the socio-economic status of their parents.
  5. Prevention strategies play a significant role in setting children and young people up for lifelong success and giving them a good start in life. The development and implementation of policies and strategies which emphasise prevention and early intervention reduce future harm to people and in the long term is cost saving to society.
  6. Quality outdoor green spaces are essential for healthy childhood development including physical, psychological and social health.
  7. Institutionalisation is invariably detrimental to the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Aims

The Australian Greens want:

  1. Funding programs, service delivery and decisions regarding child protection to be consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  2. To ensure that children and young people have the means to express themselves to their community and at all levels of government, through the National Children's Commissioner and other federal or state/territory youth advisory bodies.
  3. Greater national and state coordination in children and youth policy formulation.
  4. Adequate and secure allowance income for young people to enable full participation in education and training opportunities.
  5. Improved education and secure, satisfying, employment opportunities for young people, including in remote, rural and regional areas.
  6. Affordable, accessible and secure housing options for young people, especially for those in transition from at-risk situations.
  7. A reduction in the rates of suicide and mental illness among children and young people through adequate funding for mental health services.
  8. Adequately funded children's and young people's services, particularly for addressing mental health, suicide, drug and substance use, sexual and reproductive health, disability or special care and protection needs.
  9. Programs to keep young people out of the criminal justice system, and reduce the risk of reoffending.
  10. 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.
  11. Electoral law reform to allow young people aged 16 and 17 to vote.
  12. A national youth affairs peak body with elected and representative members.
  13. The promotion of healthy food, including a ban on junk food advertising on children's television.
  14. An increased investment in programs that focus on community awareness, prevention and reporting of abuse against children and young people.
  15. Well-funded high quality services for child survivors of abuse and neglect.
  16. The development of new, and improvement of existing, education and preventive health programs for children and young people.
  17. To increase programs and services to redress inequitable outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.
  18. Dedicated programs and services to address the needs of young people from diverse communities, including multicultural and LGBTIQ youth.
  19. Measures to address the sexualisation of children and young people in media and advertising.

[Policy endorsed: November 2017]