2018 marks the halfway point for the Community is Everything campaign. With our allies across the country we have achieved much to improve the lives of Indigenous kids.
But we also know there is still a lot to do, there are too many kids locked up and it needs to change.
It’s been two months since the NT Royal Commission report and there is still no national response or plan. It’s crucial the Federal government works with states & territories to end this crisis. Only a couple of weeks ago Amnesty reported the abuse of young men at Banksia Hill youth detention in WA. These kids have been in solitary confinement for more than 250 days. We know these kinds of abuses will continue to happen unless our leaders take action.
We need a national plan of action
In 2018 we will continue to push for a national plan of action. In February we’re planning a handover of petitions to the Prime Minister. We’ll be calling on him to make his response to the NT Royal Commission and to take a national leadership role. There will be several moments in 2018 that will be crucial for youth justice.
There is a potential Close the Gap refresh and evaluation. This is an opportunity for justice targets to be part of Close the Gap. There is also the possibility for an early Federal election. If this happens we can use this opportunity to call on the major parties to change their policies.
Your state and territory can make change
But the responsibility also lies with State and Territory governments. We’re creating resources now so that you can put together your own local campaigns. The resources will show where states and territories are on youth justice issues. This is particularly in relation to the 8 points of the national plan of action. With this information you’ll be able to lobby your local government to make changes. And we’ll mobilise groups around the country together at key moments so we can have the most impact.
Some of the greatest success we’ve had with this campaign has been at the state and territory level. We need activists all around the country lobbying for change at that level of government. So whether you are a CIE veteran or new to the campaign, we need all the help we can get around the country to help these kids. To get involved make sure to join our CIE group on Facebook and keep an eye on the resources section of the website.