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Pages tagged "child protection"
Wendy Francis on The Political Spot
· October 02, 2012 10:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby recently made a submission to the Queensland Government's inquiry into child protection. ACL Queensland Director spoke to Daniel Simon about the ACL's submission.
MR: ACL calls on Australian government to pressure Pakistan on religious freedom
· August 21, 2012 10:00 AM
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby is urging the Australian government to place pressure on Pakistan to change its outrageous blasphemy laws.
The call comes with the news that an 11-year-old Christian Pakistani girl was arrested and now faces a possible death sentence after being accused of burning a Koran.
ACL urges Foreign Minister Bob Carr to make representations to the Pakistani Ambassador in Canberra for the girl to be released from prison and placed in child protection.
ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace said the Australian government should insist that Pakistan allow religious freedom and compel its government to change its inhumane blasphemy laws.
“Every effort must be made to save the life of this young child and remove the death penalty for any blasphemy law in Pakistan,” Mr Wallace said.
“Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and our government must do everything it can to pressure the Pakistani government to meet its international human rights obligations,” Mr Wallace said.
This year’s ACL National Conference, running from the 5
of October, focuses on the issue of religious freedom, and its important value in every society.
Muted response to Tas child sex abuse case troubling
· October 14, 2010 11:00 AM
Public anger over the failure of authorities to prosecute the men who paid to have sex with a 12-year-old in Tasmanian state care has not subsided in the week since the Children’s Commissioner released the long-awaited report detailing the failures of the state to care for the vulnerable child.
Although both the girl’s mother and the male pimp who offered the 12-year-old for sale to over 100 men have both been tried and jailed, the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided not to charge the men who paid for sex, believing there was insufficient evidence to convict them in court. This is despite
19 people admitting
to having had sexual contact with her.
Professor Caroline Taylor, Foundation Chair in Social Justice and Head of the Social Justice Research Centre at Edith Cowan University, is one of the many outraged people to have spoken out against the failure of the state to prosecute a case against the men who abused the girl.
In a guest
on the website of prominent women’s activist Melinda Tankard Reist, Professor Taylor argues that, “The failure of the DPP to present the case at court represents . . . an abject failure to both challenge the law to listen to the plight of children, and to challenge those who sexually prey upon them”.
She is especially angry that the DPP personally believed the subjective judgement of the men who claimed not to have known the true age of the abused girl, believing the assertion should be tested in court. She says:
“By not taking the matter to court, we abrogated a little girl’s most basic human right to at least have the law step in on some level to protect her and thousands like her. As a society we should not stand by silently and allow our public office of prosecution to indulge in secretive and un-democratic decision-making.”
Meanwhile, the Tasmanian Liberal Party opposition, led by leader Will Hodgman,
failed in an attempted motion of no confidence
in the Children's Minister Lin Thorp when the five Greens joined the 10 Labor members to defeat the motion in State Parliament last night.
The Liberals’ argued that Ms Thorp should resign because, under the Westminster system of government, she is responsible for the failure of her department to protect the 12-year-old girl prostituted whilst a ward of the state.
The fact that Ms Thorp has only been responsible for child protection for two years, when the mistakes leading to the child's prostitution began in 2007, a point highlighted by Children’s Commissioner Paul Mason earlier in the week, may have saved her ministerial career.
Premier David Bartlett has also
knocked back the Liberal’s call for a full Commission of Inquiry
into the state’s child protection services, claiming that the estimated cost of such an endeavour would be better spent by going “directly to children”. The
Greens are seeking a parliamentary select committee inquiry
into the child protection services.
ACL last week reported
that the Children’s Commissioner had recommended prohibiting the purchase of sex, much like the Swedish model of prostitution regulation. Under such a system, no man would be able to claim ignorance for purchasing sex from a minor.
Mr Bartlett was subsequently
quoted in the media
saying he personally supported a more regulated sex industry, including legalised brothels, managed through a licensing and registration system - a system that has tragically failed to protect women in mainland states. The Government is soon to commence a review of the state’s
Sex Industry Offenses Act 2005
ACL responded in a media release
, urging Mr Bartlett to honour his pre-election commitment to examine Swedish prostitution laws, and asking the Government to seriously consider how a law that criminalises the purchase of sex would advance the best interests of women and girls
Child Commissioner recommends prohibiting purchase of sex
· October 07, 2010 11:00 AM
The long-awaited report into the shocking case of a 12 year old Tasmanian girl, who fell through the cracks of the state’s child protection services and was prostituted to more than 100 men, was yesterday made public by the state’s Commissioner for Children, Paul Mason.
The report not only detailed the failures of state authorities to protect the vulnerable child, but came with the welcome recommendation that “the Government review the
Sex Industry Offences Act 2005
and in doing so actively consider the option of prohibiting the purchase of sexual services other than for certified medical reasons and actively consider the contribution of any amendment to the safety and sexualisation of children”.
Whilst the case itself is horrific, this recommendation provides some positive impetus to tackle the associated issues of prostitution and the sexualisation of society. It is a strong platform for the Tasmanian Government to explore the Swedish model of prostitution control, which treats prostitution as a form of abuse against women and prosecutes the purchaser of sex.
Under such a law, men who purchased sex with a 12 year old would not be able to walk free as the Tasmanian men did in this case because ignorance of the age of the prostitute would no longer be an excuse.
The recommendation is particularly timely, with the Government due to review and amend the
Sex Industry Offences Act
. The Act, which was originally meant to liberalise prostitution in Tasmania, ended up tightening prostitution laws in the state after the intervention of ACL to bring the voice of former prostitutes into the debate.
ACL is pleased to see that in its response to the Children’s Commissioner’s report, the Government has accepted the relevant recommendation, “noting there are wide-ranging community views on the issue”. It says that “A discussion paper on further law reform in this area will be released shortly”. A genuine exploration of the Swedish system should now definitely form part of the process.
The report of the Commissioner for Children can be found
, whilst the Government’s official response is also available for download
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