Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
Address: Chemin des Fins 2, Case Postale 102, 1211 Geneva 19 - Telephone: 022 799 9100 - Fax: 022 799 9178

Human Rights Council - 19th Regular Session

Item 3

Australian statement on violence against children

7 March 2012

Australia welcomes the annual report of Mme Santos Pais, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), on violence against children. We acknowledge the progress she has made in building momentum to prevent and address violence against children in all contexts.

Australia strongly supports the global campaign for the universal ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols. We would like to congratulate the African Union for their recent hosting of a regional event on this very important issue.

Children are at the heart of Australia’s social policy agenda, and we are deeply committed to the protection of children and young people. We note that the Special Representative’s regional studies, conducted during the past year, highlighted the importance of national strategies to combat violence against children.

Australia has developed a comprehensive national framework to protect Australia’s children. The framework is modelled on a public health approach to the protection of children, and promotes early intervention through improved universal child and family services. The framework was developed jointly by the Australian Government, states and territories, and the non-government sector, and is being taken forward as an integrated partnership between these authorities. We are happy to share what we have learnt from this experience with interested states.

We agree, Mme Special Representative, that good data and research are the bedrock of national planning and effective policy-making. One of the challenges for Australia is to create a national evidence base within the constraints of a federated system. To meet this challenge, Australia is working towards a nationally consistent data collection framework, and we see the Special Representative and Sweden's proposed Expert Consultation on the consolidation of data and research as an opportunity to learn from the experience of our strategic partners. In this regard, we would welcome any particular insights from the Special Representative, or from other States, on implementing a national evidence base across a federated system.