One year ago the chief law officers from Commonwealth, state and territory governments met and failed to take any action to end the appalling practice of locking up children as young as 10 years old.
They promised to meet again and progress the issue. Instead, they have kicked the can down the road leaving almost 500 children to languish behind bars between 2019 and 2020.
We must not let them get away with doing nothing. That’s why we’re asking you to contact your state or territory Premier or Chief Minister and remind them just how many of us support changing these outdated and harmful laws.
We’re asking you to take two actions:
- Send an urgent email to the Premier or Chief Minister of your state or territory and urge them to #RaiseTheAge to at least 14 years old. We’ve got all the details you need, click here to send your email now.
- Share a photo of yourself at 10 (or under 14) on social media with the hashtag #RaiseTheAge to help us spread the word about this campaign and encourage other people to get involved. You can see an example Facebook post here.
At ten years old, the majority of children are still small enough for a car booster seat. They are still losing baby teeth. Their young brains are at a critical stage of development.
All the medical evidence tells us that any contact with the criminal justice system can cause lifelong harm and leads to higher rates of adult incarceration, homelessness, mental illness and even premature death.
Every day ten year old children are behind bars is a travesty. A whole year of inaction is unacceptable.
There is a better way.
There are alternatives all over the country that are changing children’s lives for the better and making our communities safer. From learning on country programs in Western Australia, to trauma-informed mentoring in Victoria and wrap-around, culturally safe family supports in the ACT: this is where governments should be investing our taxpayer dollars – not locking tiny children in concrete cells.
Thank you for being part of a loud (and growing!) movement that our politicians can’t ignore.
The whole Raise The Age team
PS – It’s super easy, we’ve prepared a draft email for you. Just click here to get started. Then, jump on to Twitter or Facebook to spread the word and share a photo of yourself at 10 years old.