find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Rights of child on Mallesons' agenda

Rights of child on Mallesons' agenda

Mallesons Stephen Jaques had the rights of Australia's children at heart last night (26 July) at a forum dedicated to debate about what can be done to better protect them.Coinciding with the…

Mallesons Stephen Jaques had the rights of Australia's children at heart last night (26 July) at a forum dedicated to debate about what can be done to better protect them.

Coinciding with the lodgment of the 2011 NGO Report on the Rights of the Child with the United Nations earlier this month, the forum included speeches from The Hon Catherine Branson QC, president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Benson Saulo, the 2011 Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations, and associate professor Judith Cashmore AO from the University of Sydney.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly today, Mallesons lawyer Sarah Hoff, who took an integral role in compiling the report, said there is still plenty to be done by the Australian Government when it comes to adhering to its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"The bottom line is that most Australian children are doing really well, but there are certain groups who are continuing to fall behind," she said. "The main focus is on Indigenous children, children in out-of-home care and children in immigration detention. For example, children make up almost 50 per cent of people seeking services for homelessness, the number of children entering out-of-home care has increased by over 50 per cent in the last five years and, as of April, there were still over 1000 children in immigration detention, despite government policies to the contrary."

Hoff also pointed to the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have a mortality rate three times that of their non-Indigenous peers.

"This highlights the fact that while the Government has made some progress, there is still a long way to go. There shouldn't be that kind of disparity in a country like Australia," she said.

Mallesons has had a 10-year relationship with the National Children's and Youth Law Centre and it was here that Hoff was seconded for six months in order to work on the report, which is compiled every five years in response to a report submitted by the Government.

"I was the project manager for the report which basically meant coordinating consultations with the NGOs as well as with children, and also coordinating the drafting and editing of the report itself," she said.

Hoff will fly to Geneva in October as part of an NGO delegation. The delegation will present the report to the UN Committee, which oversees the convention, in order to establish a set of issues that will be raised with the Government during its official review in January 2012.

A team of around 15 Mallesons graduates and solicitors worked on the report, which Hoff said was a remarkable experience.

"It was incredible, just the opportunity to talk to such a range of organisations, academics and, most importantly, children," she said. "I met some incredibly resilient children. Listening to these children, knowing what they have been through, and yet seeing how they have turned out at the other end is quite inspiring."

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Rights of child on Mallesons' agenda
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...