PIAC has supported calls for the Royal Commission into the horrific abuse of children in the Northern Territory to be conducted independently of the NT Government and for a broader inquiry into the youth justice system as a whole.
On 28 July Change the Record released an open statement signed by more than 100 organisations, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak representative bodies.
‘No child should suffer the abusive and degrading treatment we witnessed on the ABC’s Four Corners program,’ said acting CEO, Deirdre Moor.
PIAC has, for many years advocated for the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).
‘The Australian Government should act now to ratify OPCAT. External scrutiny of places of detention is vital to protect the basic rights of people who are detained.
‘The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is currently considering how the special needs and interests of children and young people under the age of 18 in youth justice detention centres could be considered and monitored in a National Preventative Mechanism (NPM). NPMs provide a proactive opportunity to prevent human rights abuses and promote innovation, collaboration and best practice in prisons and other places of detention.
‘In our submission to the AHRC PIAC argued that the development of an NPM would assist in increasing transparency and accountability in places of detention in Australia.’