SNAICC – National Voice for our Children has published a comprehensive Options Paper on possible models for the establishment of a dedicated National Commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.
Developed with the invaluable support of leading international law firm King & Wood Mallesons, the Options Paper presents a detailed examination of existing national and international commissioner roles against the United Nations ‘Paris Principles’ and identifies the strongest models of compliance with the international standards.
Based on comprehensive desktop research and thorough analysis, the paper outlines a proposed model for the establishment of a National Commissioner that provides concrete guidance for Federal Government decision-makers on the key elements required to establish an effective National Commissioner.
SNAICC and the Family Matters campaign have worked together with key partners to build momentum for the establishment of a national commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in Australia.
In October 2019, SNAICC and Family Matters developed a Position Paper on the establishment of a National Commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people that was supported by more than 80 organisations across Australia. The Position Paper proposed a model for a national commissioner to sit within the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Since the release of the Position Paper, some stakeholders have suggested that consideration of additional models may be worthwhile. With the support of leading Australasian law firm King & Wood Mallesons, SNAICC has developed a comprehensive Model Options Paper that explores other possible models based on assessing existing national and international commissioner roles against the Paris Principles and identifies best practice elements.
SNAICC and Family Matters’s 2019 Position Paper outlines the clear and compelling case for the establishment of a national commissioner that is dedicated to advancing the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child and young people across Australia.
The preparation of the Options Paper involved a comprehensive desktop review of existing Australian and international commissioner models and outlines key findings and recommendations for compliance with the best practice requirements for each element of the Paris Principles. Based on a detailed review and analysis of 18 commissioner models, the paper concludes that:
- the New Zealand and United Kingdom children’s commissioner models appear to be the best overall existing commissioner models when considered against the Paris Principles
- the South Australian commissioner for children and young people appears to be the best existing Australian model when considered against the Paris Principles, although with the caveat that not all its functions are legislatively enshrined.
Most usefully, the paper outlines a proposed model based on the strongest models of compliance with the international standards outlined in the Paris Principles.