Australian Human Rights Institute Annual Lecture

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UNSW Law

Anzac Parade

Kingsford, NSW 2032

Australia

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You are invited to join us for a lecture on the rights of the child by Professor Benyam Dawit Mezmur, a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, and an Associate Professor of Law and Coordinator of the Children's Rights Project at the Dullah Omar Institute, at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.


“The Convention on the Rights of the Child, the migration crisis, and the Government of Australia: Counting its days or making its days count?”


The Australian Government is one of the 63 countries that ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child before the end of 1990.

At the time, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Senator Gareth Evans, and the Attorney General, Michael Duffy, announced that Australia’s ratification of the Convention represented an “important new development in the protection of the rights of children and indicates the concern of the Australian Government to assist to the greatest extent possible in the improvement of human rights throughout the world”.

More than 27 years later, does the commitment of Australia expressed by Evans and Duffy still hold true or deserve a more critical look? Is the Convention being treated as a “to do list” or a “wish list”?

In the context of international migration, some of the measures undertaken by the Government, including immigration detention and outsourcing of responsibilities to third countries, have been described as “strikingly at odds with the country’s tradition of welcoming people fleeing persecution and war”.

IOM has indicated that the “Australian model may seem attractive to politicians” in Europe, highlighting that what happens in Australia does not necessarily stay in Australia.

In the 2018 Australian Human Rights Institute Annual Lecture, Professor Benyam Dawit Mezmur reflects on the Australian Government’s response, its short and long-term implications for the rights of the child both at home and abroad, as well as the relevance and potential limits of the Convention on the Rights of the Child with the complicated realities of the 21st Century.

The Australian Human Rights Institute Annual Lecture is supported by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.


Photo: Gavin Blue

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UNSW Law

Anzac Parade

Kingsford, NSW 2032

Australia

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