Media Releases - 27 August 2020

Independent inquiry into DoE responses to child sexual abuse welcomed

Commissioner for Children and Young People Leanne McLean said today that Minister for Education Jeremy Rockliff’s establishment of an independent inquiry into the Department of Education’s responses to child sexual abuse is a welcome step towards minimising the risk of child sexual abuse.

“It is essential that we make sure that we have the best legislation, policies and practices in place to safeguard the wellbeing of Tasmanian’s children and young people within Tasmanian government schools,” Ms McLean said.

“Every child has the right to be protected from violence, mistreatment and abuse, including sexual abuse.

“This is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed to children by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. As signatories to that convention, we as a society have undertaken to uphold this right for all the children and young people of Tasmania.”

Ms McLean said the establishment of this inquiry is also a timely reminder for all Tasmanian government departments and other organisations providing services to children.

“Child safety and wellbeing must be embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture at every level to ensure organisations and services are indeed child safe.

“While I applaud the Government’s actions in undertaking this review, Tasmania must also prioritise the development of a comprehensive child-safe legislative framework, including standards that all organisations providing services to children must meet.”

If you or someone you know needs support, please contact:
• 1800 Respect
• Lifeline on 13 11 14
• Sexual Assault Support Service (SASS) on 1800 697 877
• Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277
• Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800