Huon Valley’s Amnesty Southern Group was presented with an award from Amnesty International Australia this week for seven years of outstanding activism, challenging injustice and defending human rights in Australia and around the world.
While the group is honoured by the award and recognition, the excitement was short-lived following a recent announcement from all state Attorneys-General that there would be a nationally consistent approach to the minimum age of criminal responsibility, or the age of which a child is considered by law to have understood that their actions were wrong and can face criminal charges, with all states agreeing to raise the criminal age from 10 to 12 years old.
Amnesty Southern has been campaigning hard over the past year for the Tasmanian Government to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years instead, with Amnesty Southern member Jane Unwin calling the Attorneys-General decision extremely disappointing.
“It is disheartening after all of the campaigning and contacting local MPs that we have done to see the Attorneys-General reach this decision,” Ms Unwin stated.
“It is unjust to hold children criminally responsible for their actions when they have yet to fully develop mental, intellectual and emotional maturity.”
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