The Commissioner for Children and Young People, Leanne McLean said today Tasmania is facing a watershed moment.
“As we work to implement the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry, Tasmania faces a watershed moment in how we value our children, including how we protect and promote our children’s human rights,” Ms McLean said.
“When children’s rights are upheld, their wellbeing improves.”
Ms McLean has been reappointed Commissioner for Children and Young People for another five-year term.
“I am honoured to be reappointed. My priority will be to continue to advocate fearlessly for children and young people.
“I will work to ensure the Commission of Inquiry recommendations are implemented fully and in a child-centred way, including the establishment of a new Commission for Children and Young People with significantly expanded functions and powers to those I hold as the current Commissioner.”
Ms McLean said she will also continue her advocacy for a world-leading youth justice system.
“The Tasmanian Government should commit to raising the age of criminal responsibility from its current age of just 10 years to at least 14 and implement a new non-criminalising response to prevent and respond to children’s harmful behaviour.
“Urgent work is also necessary to implement a therapeutic alternative to youth justice system, including youth detention.
“While this reform work is underway, I will continue to advocate for individual young people detained at Ashley Youth Detention Centre, and for their rights and wellbeing to be prioritised and promoted.”
“I will also continue monitoring and advocating for reforms to Tasmania’s child safety and out of home care systems, including by releasing the report of my own motion investigation into the impact of changes to case management for children in out-of-home care in coming weeks.”
Ms McLean said she will set the remainder of her strategic agenda for this new term in collaboration with children and young people in early 2024.
“I very much look forward to continuing the CCYP Ambassador Program and ensuring that the rights and voices of Tasmanian children are front and centre when decisions are being made that affect them.”