Raise the Age
Support the campaign to Raise the Age of criminal responsibility to keep children in schools and communities
November 22, 2023
Australia imprisons children as young as 10, one of the youngest ages of criminal responsibility in the world. Yet overwhelming evidence from health experts, social workers, Indigenous leaders, legal experts and human rights organisations show that locking up children only does more damage.
Youth incarceration disproportionately impacts First Nations children, accounting for 65 per cent of these younger children in prisons.
Children belong in schools and their communities where their wellbeing and future are nurtured.
The Raise the Age campaign calls for the age of criminal responsibility to be changed, acknowledging that children belong in schools and their communities where their wellbeing and future are nurtured.
In 2020, a coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and legal, medical and human rights groups came together to form a national campaign to push every single state, territory and federal government to change the laws so that children under 14 cannot be sent to prison. Additionally, the campaign calls for funding and support for the hundreds of alternatives to prisons across Australia that are in place and working.
The Uniting Church is supportive of these reforms as part of our commitment to the Covenant which calls us to build a nation based on justice and reconciliation.
Next week is a significant time to get involved in this campaign as Federal, State and Territory Attorneys-General meet on 1 December to discuss their plans to address the minimum age of criminal responsibility.
Join the #RaisetheAge Week of Action starting Friday 24 November by
- taking a selfie with a sign saying “#RaiseTheAge”, post it to your socials and tag your Attorney General and #UnitingchurchAU #allofthisisus.
- writing to your Attorney General.
Find out more about the campaign and a list of the Attorneys General here: https://raisetheage.org.au/take-action/raise-the-age-week-of-action-2023
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