Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


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Centre for International Governance and Justice – News and Events

Megan MitchellSource: NSW Commission for Children and Young People

Megan Mitchell
Source: NSW Commission for Children and Young People

Australia Appoints its First National Children’s Commissioner

Monday saw the appointment of Australia’s first National Children’s Commissioner. Megan Mitchell, the current NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People, will assume the post on 25 March 2013, for a period of five years. Regarding Rights contributor Mhairi Cowden’s examination of the role of the Commissioner, published earlier this year, suggests that the new Commissioner will need to “engage in child centred approaches to representation” if the position is going to effectively protect and promote children’s rights in Australia. Continue reading


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New National Children’s Commissioner — Triumph or Timewaster?

By Mhairi Cowden

Following an intense few months of lobbying by advocacy groups, it was announced earlier last year that the Gillard government would establish a new National Children’s Commissioner within the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).

For nearly 20 years advocacy groups within Australia have been calling for the role to be established and it is exciting to see Australia finally take an important step forward in fulfilling its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC).

Having achieved this important goal it is now worth asking — will a National Children’s Commissioner work to enhance and secure the rights of Australian children, or will they be just another adult in the hierarchy of government?

Here I present a case for cautious optimism. Continue reading