As a registered charitable non-government organisation, Youth Law Australia publishes an Annual Report for each previous financial year (1 July to 30 June). Links to copies of the Centre’s most recent Annual Reports are below.
If you would like to view other past Annual Reports, you can request a copy by emailing [email protected].
We are happy to provide the following materials should you wish to promote Youth Law Australia to clients or young people you work with.
For other forms of collateral including business cards, please contact us here.
You can find copies of some recent submissions that Youth Law Australia drafted and contributed to below, If you would like to a copy of any other submissions that we have made, you can request a copy by emailing [email protected].
Youth Law Australia put forward a submission to the Australian Government and Attorney-General’s Department on the Scoping the development of specialised and trauma-informed legal services for victims and survivors of sexual assault: Discussion Paper. We consider the overwhelming evidence that the Department must prioritise specialist sexual violence legal services for children and young people.View PDF
Youth Law Australia made a submission to the National Children’s Commissioner’s Youth Justice and Wellbeing Reform across Australia project. We make strong suggestions for what needs to be changed so that youth justice protects the rights and wellbeing of children and young people, consider the barriers for change, and offer alternative approaches to be adopted in place of the current juvenile justice system.View PDF
Youth Law Australia made a submission in response to the Family Law Amendment Bill 2023. Our submission emphasises that the safety and best interests of children and young people must be prioritised in the family law system. This requires the direct and ongoing participation of children and young people in the family law processes and proceedings that are about them.View PDF
Youth Law Australia made this submission to the inquiry into the Family Law Amendment (Information Sharing) Bill 2023. This bill would amend the Family Law Act 1975 to expand the information sharing framework for information relating to family violence, child abuse and neglect risks in parenting proceedings before the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, and the Family Court of Western Australia.View PDF
This submission addresses the issue of children and young people’s access to justice for alleged rights violations, or risks thereof, arising within institutional settings. Our recommendation is that the Tasmanian Government should fund and appropriately design independent legal assistance services for children and young people who have experienced or are at risk of maltreatment and/or sexual abuse in Tasmanian Government institutional settings.View PDF
The safety of children and young people must be prioritised in the family law system. Youth Law Australia also believes that the best interests of children and young people can only be determined by hearing from them. Children and young people must have genuine, ongoing, direct and meaningful participation in the family law processes and proceedings that are about them.View PDF
Youth Law Australia believes that decent work for young workers must be work that also provides equal pay for work of equal value. We believe the only way to ensure that young workers receive equal pay for work of equal value is to abolish junior rates of pay, and to continuously work to reduce the incidence of underpayment and wage theft.View PDF
Raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility is not only consistent with international human rights law, it also has the potential to result in a new approach to dealing with children and young people who engage in problematic behaviour, focused on their welfare.
Such an approach has the potential to deliver great benefits not only to young people and their families, but to society more generally.View PDF
The purpose of this report was to assess the implementation of the ICCPR in Australia (which was implemented in Australia on 13 August 1980). Youth Law Australia prepared the “Children’s Rights” section of the Shadow Report for the 6th periodic report of the ICCPR (September 2017) under the input and direction of the Steering Committee of the Child Rights Taskforce.View PDF
We were delighted to make a submission to the Consultation On Tasmania’s First Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. Our submission focused on access to justice, which is a core human right, and an essential part of ensuring the rights of children and young people are protected and promoted.View PDF
Youth Law Australia was pleased to make this submission to the Australian Council of Attorneys-General in February 2020. Our submission summarises the practical concerns relating to doli incapax before recommending that governments increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 years of age and repeal doli incapax.View PDF
Youth Law Australia made this submission to the ACT Government Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility (MACR) Discussion Paper in August 2021. It adds to a body of submissions made by our organisation to urge all Australian states and territories to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14.View PDF
Youth Law Australia made this submission in support of the Criminal Law (Raising the Age of Responsibility) Amendment Bill 2021 (Qld) which, if passed, will ensure that children under 14 years of age in Queensland are no longer incarcerated or otherwise punished under the criminal legal system. It adds to a body of submissions made by our organisation to urge all Australian states and territories to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14.View PDF
You can find copies of some recent research papers that Youth Law Australia drafted and contributed to below, If you would like to a copy of any of our other research papers, you can request a copy by emailing [email protected].
Youth Law Australia contributed to the research conducted by the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at the University of NSW on the exchange of personal information between government agencies, and between government and other sectors. The research was commissioned by the NSW Government Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.View PDF
Youth Law Australia contributed to the research conducted by the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at the University of NSW, the University of South Australia, the University of Western Sydney, and the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre on the exposure of youth to cyberbullying and the management of cyberbullying. The research was commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Communications. This research formed the basis of 4 reports being the Research on youth exposure to, and engagement of, cyberbullying incidents in Australia Parts A-C (including Appendices) and a synthesis report.
Part A:View PDF
Part B:View PDF
Part C:View PDF
Part C – Appendix A:View PDF
Part C – Appendix B:View PDF
Part C – Appendix C:View PDF
Part C – Appendix D:View PDF
Synthesis report:View PDF
The End Child Marriage Australia project grew out of concern that children facing the risk or reality of forced marriage were not receiving the protection and services they needed. Case experience with child victims demonstrated the gaps in knowledge, understanding, response and coordination that existed among community service providers and responsible agencies on the issue. This report provides children’s rights-based analysis and evaluation of the current responses of service providers to child victims of forced marriage.View PDF
Youth Law Australia partnered with Legal Aid NSW to conduct research into the online behaviours of young people in NSW and how criminal laws apply to their behaviour. The focus of the research was on cyberbullying and sexting, and sought to empower young people to understand their rights and to engage in consultation about the need for law and policy reform.View PDF
This research projected was conducted between the centre and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, funded by the Australian Youth Foundation. The project’s major findings were that students with disability experienced discrimination in enrolment, conditions of enrolment, access to school services, differential application of discipline policies and the failure to address bullying and harassment.View PDF
Are nudes against the law? During COVID-19 we saw an increase in NSW young people seeking help about image-based abuse. In response, we teamed up with Youth Action NSW to create a resource to let you known how the law applies to sexting and image-based abuse in NSW and where to go for help. You can view the factsheet by clicking on the links below.View PDF
In March 2018, Youth Law Australia received the exciting news that we were selected to take part in the Telstra Foundation Tech4Good Challenge. You can read more about the challenge on our projects page here.
This process culminated in a written proposal, and supplementary pitch video.View PDF
Youth Law Australia contributed to the writing of Children and the Law 2nd Edition, edited by Lisa Young, Mary Anne Kenny and Geoffrey Monahan in the form of developing several case scenarios on common legal issues faced by children.
The scenarios were based on common queries received, and the advice provided. The purpose of these scenarios was to demonstrate how the law works in practice in advising children and young people throughout Australia. The scenarios are contained within the Appendix.
This report was drafted by the Australian Child Rights Taskforce, being a network of over 100 organisations and individuals committed to the protection, promotion and fulfilment of the rights of children in Australia. The purpose of the report was to review the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child since its ratification in 1990 and make recommendations to better protect the rights of the child.View PDF
Youth Law Australia collaborated with the Indigenous Law Centre to produce a child rights focussed edition of the Indigenous Law Bulletin. The bulletin explored issues relating to the rights of Indigenous children and young people and included articles on out-of-home care arrangements, self-harm and helpseeking behaviour, and the work of Indigenous community controlled organisations, programs and solutions. You can read more here.
This Discussion Paper examines the various issues associated with Australia’s current arrangements for the guardianship of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Australia. Under the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 (Cth), the Commonwealth Minister for Immigration and Citizenship is designated to be the legal guardian of every unaccompanied child who arrives in Australia. As with any fiduciary relationship, the guardian-Minister is expected to act with loyalty and good faith, and is expected to pursue the best interests of their ward-unaccompanied minor at all times.View PDF
This report was drafted by the Australian Child Rights Taskforce, being a network of over 100 organisations and individuals committed to the protection, promotion and fulfilment of the rights of children in Australia. The report serves as the NGO Report submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and reviews the progress of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its implementation in Australia.View PDF
This discussion paper examines the legal relationship between counsellors and their clients who are children. It commences with an overview of the current practices of counsellors in retaining confidences and the expectations of children and the public as to when confidences should be maintained.View PDF
The 2014 Children’s Law Awards ceremony was held on Friday 5 September 2014 at the Sydney office of King & Wood Mallesons. Finalists from New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and South Australia attended the ceremony. Guests included representatives from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, the Human Rights Law Centre, Justice Connect, UNICEF Australia, Refugee Advice & Casework Service and Salvos Legal.
The 2014 Children’s Law Awards recognise the achievements and commitment of those individuals and organisations who advance the legal rights and interests of children and young people across Australia.View PDF
The winners of the 2012 Children’s Law Awards have been announced, acknowledging the importance of promoting and advocating children’s legal rights in Australia. Presented by the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre (NCYLC) and King & Wood Mallesons with the support of the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, the awards recognise the achievements and commitment of individuals and organisations who advance the legal rights and interests of children and young people across the country.View PDF
Youth Law Australia provides free and confidential legal advice to any child, young person under 25 or their advocate in Australia. We respectfully acknowledge the diversity of views of people across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous communities and we are here to support you with any legal problem, no matter how you vote.
As the only national children’s legal centre in Australia, we see, every day, how Australian law and policies disproportionately impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, with devasting outcomes. While many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are thriving and resilient in families with strong connections to culture and community, many are not. More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are taken from their families and culture, detained in youth justice facilities, excluded from education and suffer worse health outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians. Despite numerous inquiries and Royal Commissions, we continue to fail to achieve equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.
We have also observed how programs led by or informed by First Nations people have positive outcomes for First Nations children and young people. We believe that with national support for self-determination and participation through The Voice to Parliament, our nation can do better for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, and we must do better.
As an organisation, we are guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. For 30 years, Youth Law Australia has been dedicated to addressing the human rights abuses of children and young people in Australia. We have long been committed to listening and recognising when fundamental rights are being ignored.
Under international law, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people have the right to:
Australia is falling short of achieving these rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, we believe that The Voice is the next step to achieving these rights.
We support the call to action contained in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and we will continue to advocate for treaty making and truth-telling along with constitutional recognition.
We will also support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led calls to ensure that the Voice itself engages directly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people and makes representations to promote, protect and defend their human and legal rights.