Amnesty International Australia has panned a Northern Territory council’s motion to support a possible youth curfew, saying it might violate international law.
Amnesty International Australia has panned a Northern Territory council’s motion to support a possible youth curfew, saying it might violate international law.

Youth curfew plan could violate aw: Amnesty International

AMNESTY International Australia has panned the Alice Springs Town Council's motion to support a possible youth curfew, saying it might violate international law.

In a letter to Police Minister Nicole Manison, the human rights organisation's Indigenous rights lead Nolan Hunter said Australia was a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"We all must take our obligation to uphold it seriously," Mr Hunter said.

"The Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN World Report on Violence Against Children has called for the abolition of status offences - such as youth curfews - to achieve equal treatment for children and adults."

Mr Hunter also said a youth curfew would only further entrench poverty, racism and other disadvantages.

"Enforcing such a curfew will see police station cells and detention centres overflow," Mr Hunter said.

 

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"Furthermore, it will affect the most marginalised children in Alice Springs who need support, and only get more children trapped in the quicksand of the youth justice system."

Mr Hunter called on Ms Manison to publicly denounce calls for a youth curfew.

He said the best solutions were Indigenous-led prevention and diversionary programs to address the causes of offending and keep children and young people out of prison.

Territory Families Minister Kate Worden has previously publicly declared the government's opposition to a youth curfew in Alice Springs.

Amnesty International Australia confirmed the organisation is yet to receive a response from Ms Manison, who is on leave.

A spokeswoman for Ms Manison said a youth curfew was not the NT government's policy.

"It would make the police's job harder, not easier," she said.

"There are three youth drop-in centres in Alice Springs to help keep kids off the street, kids safe and communities safe."

On December 8 Alice Springs Town Council voted for a motion calling on the NT government to bring in additional measures to address anti-social behaviour and crime in the town, which may include a curfew, increasing use of drones and safe place options.

daniel.wood@news.com.au

Originally published as Youth curfew plan could violate international law: Amnesty International



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