Protecting Your Rights
Below are a some of the South Australian, Australian and International laws and guiding principles put in place to protect the rights of all children and young people everywhere. Some of these documents are complex and contain legal references which might require the assistance of an adult to navigate and interpret. They’re made available here so that can you see what legislation is in place to protect your rights as a child and young person.
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international treaty that recognises the human rights of all children everywhere, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities, socio-economic status or other status. More than 194 countries have signed the treaty, including Australia. The UNCRC underpins the work of the Commissioner for Children and Young People, South Australia.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child has 54 articles or rights as they are also known. Articles 1 – 42 state the internationally agreed rights. Articles 43-54 are articles about how adults and governments are expected to work together to make sure all children have all their rights and at all times.
You can visit www.unicef.org/crc to read all 54 articles in full detail. Alternatively you can download the ‘at a glance’ view via this link: https://www.unicef.org.au/Upload/UNICEF/Media/Our%20work/childfriendlycrc.pdf
You can also visit the Know Your Rights page of this website.
Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016 & Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Regulations 2017
This is the Act and accompanying Regulations under which the role of the Commissioner is formally set out including the obligations and expectations of the role. It includes details of the terms of office and process of appointment along with a requirement to have two young people on the selection panel.
The Regulations (updated in November 2021) is the instrument by which the Commissioner’s role is administered, including the requirement for activities undertaken to be guided by South Australia’s Outcomes Framework for Children and Young People (2019) (see below)
Download the Act and Regulations via the links below:
South Australia’s Outcomes Framework for
Children and Young People (2019)
This framework document prepared by South Australia’s Child Development Council sets out is required of governments and the broader community to ensure that all South Australian children and young people (like you) start well, grow strong and experience a good life. Formally adopted on 14 November 2019, the framework contains five life dimensions by which the vision for all South Australian children and young people to thrive is guided and measured – health, safety, wellbeing, education and citizenship (aka preparedness for adulthood).
Read about and download the full framework here:
Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA)
The Equal Opportunity Act 1984 promotes equal opportunity for all South Australians. It aims to prevent discrimination and give everyone a fair chance to take part in school, work and community life.
The Fair Work Act (2009)
Workers are protected by law against discrimination on a range of grounds including age, gender and race. The Fair Work Act 2009 outlines the rights of all working people working. If you are a young person who is unsure of your rights at work find out more about them here:
The Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act (1987)
The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is the national law that protects consumers from unfair and unsafe business practices when buying goods and services. The Fair Trading Act (1987) is the state legislation that protects all consumers. Businesses must work within federal and state fair trading laws to make sure they treat their customers (including children and young people) and other businesses, fairly at all times.
The Australian Consumer Law:
The Fair Trading Act 1987:
Residential Tenancies Act (1995)
If you are a young person who is renting a property in South Australia, you and the property manager or owner, have certain responsibilities you commit to undertaking throughout the period of your tenancy. Knowing your rights and responsibilities, along with those of the property managers/owners is important. They are all outlined in South Australia’s Residential Tenancies Act (1995).
Summary of the Residential Tenancies Act 1995:
Residential Tenancies Act 1995:
Victims of Crime Act (2001)
The Victims of Crime Act (2001) outlines the principles which govern the treatment of victims of crime in our criminal justice system. If something has happened to you and you are unsure about what your rights as a victim are, then follow the links below to find out: