Responsibly Raise Criminals to 14 for Aboriginal Children: Rally

A democratically elected Aboriginal organization responsible for treaty negotiations with the Victorian government is calling for an increase in the age of criminal liability from 10 to 14 in the Australian state.

Marcus Stewart and Geraldine Atkinson, co-chairs of Victoria’s first People’s Assembly, sent an open letter to the Attorney General of Victoria, asking them to amend the law before the treaty.

“This doesn’t have to wait for the treaty, nor should it wait. The overwhelming support of the community is a very needed, wise, compassionate, evidence-based, simple reform. “The letter states (pdf).

Stewart and Atkinson said children under the age of 14 were unable to fully understand the risks and consequences of their behavior and called on the judicial system to admit it.

“”[Ten] A one year old child needs to be able to share Christmas with his family at home. We’re tired of seeing children torn from their community and thrown into the quicksand of the criminal justice system, “said Stewart, a man from Ilim Burg in Garlic Chives. release on Tuesday.

He called on the state government to “stop targeting and trapping indigenous children.”

“Raising the age of legal liability from 10 to at least 14 is now possible. The government is hiding behind its commitment to the treaty process and using it as an excuse to stall reforms. No, about Aboriginal children and their families and communities, “said Stewart.

Atkinson, elder of Bangeran and Wiradjuri, said raising the age of criminal liability was strongly favored by the First People community.

“The Victorian Government is leading the country by listening to the voices of indigenous peoples. They need to keep listening to us. We are experts in our own lives and communities.” Said Geraldine.

Locking up our children doesn’t help anyone, it just adds to the harm and trauma. It is wrong to confine elementary school children. “

Parliament has recently celebrated its second anniversary since it was founded in 2019 with representatives from the Aboriginal community and traditional owners’ group in Victoria.

Caden Pearson


Caden Pearson is an Australian-based reporter with a background in screen writing and documentary. Contact him at [email protected]