On Palm Sunday (April 13th 2014), CRI joined approximately 10,000 other people at the March for Refugees in Melbourne. Board Members Chas Alexander, Frank Meredith and Garry Warne were joined by a number of CRI members. As powerfully articulated by key speakers, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young of the Australian Greens and the Reverend Alistair McRae of the Uniting Church, the policy that CRI strongly supports is that all Australian refugee detention camps should be closed immediately and the detainees released, with support, into the Australian community while their applications for asylum are being processed.
In his welcome to readers of CRI's website its Chairman, Alastair Nicholson, acknowledged the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as being the most widely ratified treaty in human history, while also noting that the basic rights of children and youth are still not universally recognised and that they suffer violence, abuse, exploitation and discrimination in increasing numbers every day.
As CRI's mission is to promote, protect and advance the human rights of children, primarily in developing countries, and to promote understanding of, adherence to and effective implementation of the CRC it is important that the organization takes a stand on the increasing evidence showing Australia's failure to protect the rights, physical and mental welfare and safety of young asylum seekers, particularly those who have been transferred to offshore detention centres.
Unfortunately, despite Australia being one of the earliest countries to ratify the CRC, its treatment of children and young people has too often failed to comply with the Convention's principles and requirements. Most recently this has been highlighted by the manner in which young asylum seekers, (whether accompanied by family members or unaccompanied), are treated, both in Australia and in the offshore detention centres to which such children have been sent.
Presentation - Professor Louise Newman AM, Monash University, Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psycology
NGOs push to end the human-rights suffering of children caught in the country's judicial system
Carmela Ferraro Guardian Weekly, Tuesday 23 October 2012
Chairman of Children's Rights International and Former Chief Justice of the Family Court, Alastair Nicholson discusses the plan to send up to 1000 asylum seekers to Cambodia on the ABC program, Lateline 18/08/2014.
(Courtesy of ABC - Lateline 18/08/2014)
A copy of the interview can also be viewed on the ABC website (click here to view the interview of the ABC website)
Originating from the creation of a concept in development since 2001, Ovava Limited was founded in 2010 as a non-profit organisation committed to the advancement of bilateral relationships between Australia and the South Pacific region, focusing its work initially on the Kingdom of Tonga. Ovava is supported by the Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC chair of Childrens Rights International and Patron of Ovava.
In November 2009 the Chair of CRI, the Hon Alastair Nicholson, joined a group from the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne visiting Vietnam to examine the issue of child protection and child justice in that country. This involved a visit to the National Paediatric Hospital in Hanoi and attendance at a medical seminar there on the detection of child abuse conducted by Dr Anne Smith of the Royal Children’s Hospital and Professor David Wells of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.
He also participated as a co-chair in the first Vietnamese national seminar to be held on the subject of child abuse and child protection.
This intensive seminar involved a number of senior Government officials from various Government Departments and representatives of various NGO’s. The proceedings were opened by Dr Nguyen Duy Khe, the Director of Maternal and Child Health at the Ministry of Health.
The primary presentations were made by Professor Michael Dunne of Queensland University of Technology (QUT) who discussed international and Vietnamese data on child abuse. His main thesis was that indicia of international child abuse are showing substantial falls in most countries. He was supported by Dr Nguyen Thanh Huong who described the limitations of current Vietnamese data, mainly in relation to adolescents. Dr Anne Smith and Professor David Wells discussed what programs had been found to be most effective in reducing child abuse.