Rights of the child
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) specifically recognises that children have a right to be protected from physical and mental harm and neglect and be able to enjoy the full range of human rights – civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.
Child abuse and neglect
Child abuse and neglect is one of Australia’s biggest and most misunderstood social problems. Despite being under-reported, Australian authorities confirmed 42,457 children were abused or neglected in one year alone*.
That’s one child every 13 minutes suffering physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect, often by someone they know and should be able to trust; most often in their own home. Thousands more cases go unreported, and the number of children and young people in out-of-home care is increasing.
*Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Child protection Australia 2014-15.
Children and young people
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) has investigated how institutions or organisations, such as schools, churches, sports clubs and government organisations, have responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse. The Royal Commission’s research and recommendations on best practice aim to provide guidance:
- to protect against the occurrence of child sexual abuse and to respond appropriately when any allegations and incidents of child sexual abuse occur, including holding perpetrators to account and providing justice to victims.
The Society recognises the importance of diligent ongoing evaluation and review and a proactive approach to implementing and remaining current in best practices in keeping Children and Young People Safe. The Society is working towards accreditation with Child Wise (a leading not-for-profit child abuse prevention organisation) as a ‘Child Safer Organisation’ and is actively implementing the research of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse highlighted in ’Creating Child Safe Institutions’.
Infants and pre-school children are at higher risk of abuse than older children. The leading cause of death amongst this age group is from injury and assault - the rate of child homicide is highest among infants less than 1 year old. Indigenous children are over-represented across the child protection system compared with non-Indigenous children. In 2013-14, Indigenous children were:
• Approximately 7 times more likely to be the subject of substantiated abuse or neglect.
• Almost 10 times more likely to be on a care and protection order.
• Over 10 times more likely to be in out-of-home care.
It is estimated that children with a disability are 3 times more likely to be sexually abused – but the actual rate is probably far higher. There is early evidence to suggest that children from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) or migrant background are also at higher risk of sexual abuse.
Australian Institute of Health & Welfare, 2015.
- On average, one child every 13 hours suffers abuse in Australia
- The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) specifically recognises that children have a right to be protected from physical and mental harm and neglect
- In 2014-15 over 42,000 children suffered abuse in Australia
- Most often instances of child abuse occurs out of the home and by strangers
- The Royal Commission provides guidance that aims to prevent the occurrence of child abuse and to respond appropriately to any allegations and instances of child abuse
- Older children are at a higher risk of abuse than infants and pre-school aged children
- Children with a disability are 3 times more likely to suffer sexual abuse
- Indigenous children are under-represented across the child protection system and are 7 times less likely to be the subject of abuse or neglect