Annual Report to Children and Young People 2020-2021

The Commissioner fully supports the introduction of a Human Rights Act for South Australia. From the Commissioner’s regular conversations with South Australian children and young people, it’s evident that current legal protections are inadequate. While many children are aware that governments have a responsibility to protect their rights, there is often a gap between their expectations and how policies, systems and laws operate in practice. Some children do not know that they have rights, what they are or whether and how they’re protected.

The Commissioner recommends that the South Australian government:

  1. Introduce a Human Rights Act for South Australia.
  2. Ensure explicit and comprehensive protection for children’s rights, including provisions to:
    1. Recognise and address poverty as a structural barrier to realising children’s rights.
    2. Fully uphold children’s participatory rights.
    3. Protect and fulfil the rights of future generations.
    4. Provide comprehensive human rights education for all people and State authorities.
    5. Establish a framework for the realisation of children’s rights to education and rights within education settings.
  3. Enhance human rights scrutiny of proposed laws and policies, with particular regard to children’s rights impact assessments.
  4. Establish accountability mechanisms and sufficient resourcing to translate the ambition of human rights legislation into practice.