‘Raising the age of criminal responsibility is not just an Aboriginal issue, it’s about the fundamental human rights of young people in this country. However, like most human rights issues in this country it affects our people the most,’ – Daniel Daylight.
Thank you to everyone who attended PIAC’s zoom forum on 21 July, and heard from a panel of experts from health, law and youth services, as well as young people with lived experience, explain why we urgently need to raise the age of criminal responsibility.
Right now, children as young as 10 years old can be imprisoned in every state and territory in Australia, including NSW. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are disproportionately impacted, accounting for 70 per cent of children aged 10 to13 in detention.
On 27 July, the Council of Attorneys-General (CAG) has a historic opportunity to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14, in line with many other countries around the world.
Ahead of this meeting, more than 160 people joined our virtual forum, moderated by PIAC CEO Jonathon Hunyor, and featuring speakers Daniel Daylight (Weave Youth Services), Keisha Hopgood (Aboriginal Legal Services NSW/ACT), Dr Jacqueline Small (Royal Australasian College of Physicians), as well as Isaiah Sines and Terleah Williams, (Just Reinvest NSW).
We are particularly grateful to Just Reinvest Youth Ambassadors Terleaha Williams and Isaiah Sines who spoke out strongly in support of raising the age, and shared some of their own experiences with the criminal justice system.
Thank you also to Dr Jacqueline Small for outlining the medical case for raising the age, and Keisha Hopgood for describing the impact of the laws on young people she has represented, and making a strong case for justice reinvestment.
You can see live tweets from the event at #PIACtalks
Find out more about the national campaign to raise the age of criminal responsibility and sign the petition here.