Thank you, for your introduction.
I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, the Cadigal people of the Eora nation. I pay my respects to Elders past and present.
On 26 September 1924 in Geneva an event of great significance occurred. The League of Nations adopted the first international human rights document concerned specifically with the rights of children: The Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924. Through that document humanity declared formally, and for the first time, that it ‘owes to children the best that it has to give’.
The 1924 Declaration was later to form the basis of a more comprehensive document: The Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child 1959. Proclaimed by the General Assembly of the League’s successor, the United Nations, the preamble to the declaration affirmed that children were entitled to those rights set down for all people in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, while recognizing that ‘the child by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care.’
The Geneva declarations were later embedded into the Preamble of what has become the most ratified treaty in the world: The Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM, Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, addressed the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies National Conference in Sydney on Monday 15 August, 2016.
Justice McClellan’s speech is available here