Human Rights Advocacy

In 2009 Cathy, in her ASCA role co-authored a submission to the Human Rights Consultation together with Dr. Jennifer Wilson, Centre for Peace and Social Justice, Southern Cross University.

ASCA’s submission sought to have child abuse and child sexual abuse perpetrated by non state actors, acknowledged and named as abuses of the fundamental human rights of children. It argues that human rights discourse in Australia does not currently sufficiently acknowledge and publicise violence and sexual violence against children by non-state actors as human rights abuse. It also argues that the impact of abuse in childhood frequently leads the victim/survivor to suffer further human rights abuses, including mental health issues, homelessness, and various other difficulties that frequently transgress several articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The submission is supported by a comprehensive statistical analysis of child abuse and its impacts in Australia as well as by a number of survivor stories. We would like to acknowledge each and every survivor who has come forward to tell their story and commend them for their courage and fortitude.

This submission is groundbreaking in terms of the human rights discourse in Australia because for the first time it seeks to reframe the suffering of children being abused within the private domestic sphere, in human rights terms. As human rights concerns, these abuses can become far more transparent, and far less likely to be silenced by denial. It is particularly timely as the Human Rights Commission works towards drawing up Australia’s first federal charter of human rights.
To read ASCA’s submission please click here.

The submission is accompanied by 2 appendices. Appendix A is a background document highlighting relevant statistics around child abuse and its impacts.
To read appendix A click here.

Appendix B holds a number of personal stories, courageously provided by adult survivors in support of ASCA’s submission.
To read appendix B click here.