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Australia’s Draft Report to the Committee on the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Law Council is grateful for the opportunity to comment on Australia’s joint fifth and sixth report under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), second report on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and second report on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (Draft Report).

The Law Council supports Australia’s participation in the international human rights system. Pursuant to the Law Council’s Policy Statement on Human Rights and the Legal Profession, the Law Council commits to promote the timely submission by Australia of periodic reports to international human rights treaty bodies, prepared in consultation with human rights and civil society organisations and in accordance with relevant reporting guidelines, as well as frank and constructive engagement by Australia with international human rights bodies.1

While the Law Council commends the Australian Government for its timely preparation of the Draft Report, given it is not due until January 2018, it is not clear to the Law Council as to why such a tight timeframe (nine business days) was given for public comment on the Draft Report, without possibility of extension. The tight timeframe makes it difficult for non-government organisations to provide constructive suggestions for the Draft Report to ensure that an accurate picture of CRC implementation in Australia is presented to the United Nations (UN). This may undermine Australia’s frank and constructive engagement with the Committee on the CRC (Committee on the CRC).

You can read the full submission below.

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