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Monday, 22 November 2010
Page: 3364

Debate resumed, on motion by Ms Parke:

That this House:

(1)   notes that:

(a)   on 17 December 2010 Australia will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child;

(b)   the Convention on the Rights of the Child is an attempt to ensure that children everywhere have the best opportunity in life regardless of where they live, their race or gender, including the right to go to school, to have access to shelter and food, to play and to have their opinions heard and respected; and

(c)   there has been significant progress in that 10 000 fewer children die per day than they did twenty years ago but there are still 8 million children dying each year before their fifth birthdays of causes that are easily preventable through such simple and inexpensive measures as insecticide-treated mosquito nets, vaccinations, breast-feeding for six months, clean water and sanitation;

(2)   applauds the work done for the benefit of children internationally by United Nations agencies, in particular UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund), and Non Government Organisations, such as World Vision, Save the Children and Marie Stopes International;

(3)   notes that while on the whole children in Australia fare better than children in other parts of the world, there remains significant issues to be tackled in Australia including child abuse and neglect, youth homelessness and the disadvantage suffered by indigenous children;

(4)   applauds the work done for the benefit of Australian children by the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, as well as the Australian Human Rights Commission and Child Commissioners in the States and Territories;

(5)   welcomes the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009 2020 as endorsed at the Council of Australian Governments meeting on 30 April 2009; and

(6)   calls upon the federal government to further consider:

(a)   incorporating the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Federal legislation; and

(b)   appointing a National Commissioner for Children.