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Human Rights Law Centre
Children in prison on the national agenda
$629,792 over five years to support HRLC’s efforts with Indigenous partner organisations to address the over-imprisonment of Indigenous children.
While they continue to be imprisoned at 24 times the rate of non-Indigenous children and comprise 50% of the youth prison population, there has been a profoundly positive shift in the youth justice landscape. At the time of the first VFFF grant in 2016, HRLC considered the major issue to be generating the political and community will for change. It continues to capitalise on the opportunities that the Royal Commission, and subsequent youth justice inquiries in nearly every state and territory, have opened up for reform of youth justice around Australia.
In September 2019, accompanied by HRLC, Dujuan, a 12 year old from central Australia, became the youngest person to address the United Nations Human Rights Council. Dujuan and HRLC were at the UN to gain support for raising the age of legal responsibility in Australia from 10 to 14 years, and increasing support for Aboriginal-led education models that will help hundreds of kids across Australia stay out of courts and prisons and in schools and playgrounds.
"My name is Dujuan, I am 12 years old. I am from Arrernte and Garrwa Country. I came here to speak with you because the Australian Government is not listening. Adults never listen to kids like me. But we have important things to say..."