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Wednesday, 4 November 1992
Page: 2664

(Question No. 2032)

Mr Hollis asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, upon notice, on 14 October:

  Will Australia fulfil its obligations to present its first report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child by 16 January 1992.

Mr Kerin —The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

  Australia's initial report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child under Article 44 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is currently being prepared by the Attorney-General's Department. Given the complex division of responsibilities in Australia between the Federal Government and the State and Territory Governments for the provision of services to children, it is necessary to consult closely with State and Territory Governments as well as relevant Commonwealth agencies in the preparation of the report. On 6 January 1992, the Attorney-General's Department sought input from the States and Territories. Responses from all States and Territories except the Northern Territory have now been received. It is now expected that Australia's initial report will be completed early in 1993 following comprehensive consultations with the relevant agencies and non government organisations.

  Advice has been received that the Committee on the Rights of the Child faces a serious backlog of reports and anticipates a three to four year delay in dealing with reports.