Coming Up Mon 1:00 PM  AEST
Coming Up Live in 
NITV Radio

Abuse in QLD police watch-houses sparks calls to raise minimum age of criminal responsibility in Australia

Cheryl Axleby Source: Supplied

Cheryl Axleby, is calling on the Queensland government to take immediate action to end the abuse of children.

The call comes after an ABC Four Corners report revealed details of the abuse of dozens of children aged between 10 and 17 while in detention in police watch-houses in Queensland.

Cheryl Axleby is the CEO of Aboriginal legal Rights Movement, National co-chair of NATSILS and Change the Record. She says she is shocked about the latest revelations of violations of children's rights by state authorities.

Watch-houses are described as single cell environments designed for adult inmates. In Queensland, juveniles are detained in these cells for extended periods in the absence of any contact with their families or the outside world.

Also, juveniles are subjected to multiple violations of their rights while detained in these cells,.

“We cannot stand by while children are being denied their rights. Reports of Queensland Police housing children with sex offenders, withholding food and medical treatment to children as young as 10 are unacceptable, " Cheryl Axleby said in a media statement.

"Some children have even had their fingers cut off. The Queensland Government must take immediate action to end these abuses.”

According to the co-chair of NATSILS, Aboriginal youth are detained on longer remand time than necessary across the country. She says this is unacceptable and has to stop immediately.

"We find that many juveniles are spending much more time than they would actually serve if sentenced. Many are getting penalties that wouldn’t normally result in them being incarcerated.”

Ms Axleby’s concerns and calls are echoed by human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Jesuit Social Services who are all renewing, yet again, their calls to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility in Australia.

The age of 14 is the average minimum age of criminal responsibility adopted by most countries around the world. Most experts and advocates argue that Australia should meet this global standard.

NATSILS is also calling on the Queensland Government to listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations.

“Our communities have the answers. These children should be in community, in homes and in schools. We’re talking about children’s lives and the Government must support them, our future knowledge holders,” Ms Axleby concluded.

"Now is the time to act. There are a lot of reports and recommendations from Royal Commissions seating on governments' desks. Now is the time to act."

Coming up next

Abuse in QLD police watch-houses sparks calls to raise minimum age of criminal responsibility in Australia 15/05/2019 08:31 ...
Veteran SES volunteer says Covid-19 didn’t make rescue work lesser or easier at all. 23/05/2020 12:21 ...
Indigenous art from ancient times showcased in 3D at the NGV 22/05/2020 16:03 ...
Awabakal and Walkabout Barber helping families emerge from Covid-19 really looking good 21/05/2020 09:08 ...
Continued calls for states to reopen borders 20/05/2020 02:15 ...
When was your last dental visit? 20/05/2020 06:06 ...
Territorians divided over bid to open alcohol store near dry communities 19/05/2020 03:46 ...
Rate of Indigenous youth in justice supervision declining 19/05/2020 08:44 ...
Megafauna mystery contains ominous warning for our future 19/05/2020 02:56 ...
Namaste and connection to Country: Wiradjuri Yoga teacher intertwines two ancient traditions 18/05/2020 14:04 ...
View More