Committee on the Rights of the Child
29 May–15 June 2012
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict
List of issues concerning additional and updated information related to the initial report of Australia (CRC/C/OPAC/AUS/1)
The State party is requested to submit in writing additional, updated information(15 pages maximum), if possible before 1March 2012.
The Committee may take up all aspects of children’s rights contained in the Optional Protocol during the dialogue with the State Party.
1.Please provide information as to which Government department or body has primary responsibility for the implementation of the Optional Protocol and in which way such body coordinates among relevant authorities, civil society, academia, the media and other partners to enforce and raise awareness on the principles and provisions of the Optional Protocol.
2.Please clarify if the Australian Defence Force (ADF) carries out any other recruitment activities aimed at children, in addition to the school career open days described in paragraph 35 of the State party’s report. Please also clarify which specific age group the school career open days are directed at.
3.In light of the information provided in paragraph 40 of the State party’s report that Australian Defence Force cadets, aged 12½ to 18 years, take part in activities in a military setting, kindly clarify what constitutes a military setting and whether the activities are comparable to those performed by the military. Kindly explain how the ADF ensures that such activities are suitable for younger cadets in terms of mental maturity and whether the cadets also receive information on the principles and provisions of the Optional Protocol.
4.Please provide data disaggregated by sex, age, rural/urban origin, socio-economic background, indigenous status and ethnic origin on children in the cadet programmes.
5.Please clarify if there is an independent complaint mechanism accessible by children in the cadet programmes or if other mechanisms exist to monitor the welfare of and investigate complaints by children in such programmes.
6.Please specify what legal provisions are in place to address violations of the Defence Instruction described in paragraph 47 of the State party’s report, as well as amendments to the Criminal Code relating to war crimes, and which disciplinary measures may be used. Please also specify which disciplinary measures the ADF may use to address infringements by its personnel of the principles and provisions of the Optional Protocol.
7.Please clarify how refugee and asylum-seeking children are screened with a view to identifying children in need of counselling in relation to torture and trauma. Please elaborate on the content of such counselling and whether it includes re-integration and vocational training initiatives. Kindly clarify the maximum duration of long-term counselling provided to children affected by armed conflict.
8.Please provide information on how Government officials working with refugee and asylum-seeking children are trained to detect signs that a child has been involved in an armed conflict. Kindly also provide information on whether policies or training materials have been developed in this regard.
9.Please indicate whether there are regulations preventing the exportation of arms to countries where children are known to take part in hostilities.