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158 unaccompanied children in detention and all need an independent advocate

Immigration Department officials have told the Senate that 158 unaccompanied minors are in detention centres around the country, giving the government another 158 reasons why such these children need an independent advocate, the Greens said today.


"These 158 children have sought Australia's protection but none are having their voices heard independently, because of the Immigration Minister's conflict of interest," Greens' spokesperson for immigration & young people, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Government should look to fund childcare services directly

The Greens have today urged the federal government to find options for funding childcare and early education services directly, rather relying on parents having to foot the bills up front in an attempt to curb fee hikes.

"After weeks of dodging the issue it is good to see the government finally talking about finding better ways to fund childcare services that meet the needs of families," Greens' Early Education and Care spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Indonesian children going home welcome start but years lost cannot be returned

The Australian Greens say it is a positive step that three Indonesian children detained in Australian adult prisons have been confirmed as minors and are now going home, but their incarceration should never have happened.

"We welcome the Attorney-General's decision to free three Indonesians but they shouldn't have been convicted and jailed with potentially dangerous adult offenders," Greens' immigration and youth affairs spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Greens successfully create inquiry into Indonesian children in Australian prisons

The Australian Greens today announce they've successfully created a parliamentary inquiry to examine whether Indonesian children are being held in facilities such as prisons and remand centres where adults are also kept.

"There are at least two dozen Indonesians who may be children who have been convicted and jailed alongside Australian adult offenders," Greens' immigration and youth affairs spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Coalition backs Greens' motion on Productivity Commission Inquiry into Childcare Funding

Australian parents are a step closer to getting better childcare today after a Greens' motion asking the government to direct the Productivity Commission to inquire into Commonwealth funding passed the Senate.

"The Greens have wanted a wide-ranging review ever since the introduction of the childcare rebate in 2006, a need reinforced by the collapse of ABC Learning Centres," Greens' spokesperson for Early Childhood Education and Care, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Greens move for Productivity Commission Inquiry in Childcare Funding

The Greens will this week move for a Productivity Commission inquiry into the Federal Government's funding of childcare services including a review of the childcare rebate and benefit.

"The needs of working parents to access affordable high quality childcare have risen greatly over the past few years since the childcare rebate was first introduced in 2006," Greens' spokesperson for Early Childhood Education and Care Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said today.

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Govt review of 24 Indonesian kids’ cases long overdue and now the law must be changed

The Australian Greens are relieved the Attorney-General has finally agreed to review the cases of 24 convicted Indonesian boat crew who may be children. The Greens have renewed calls on the government to back Greens' legislation already before the parliament to ensure no child is locked in an adult prison.

"Any child found to be imprisoned in an adult jail must be released and sent home to their family with a sincere apology," Greens' immigration and human rights spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

"No child should be jailed as an adult.

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Government must fund National Children's Commissioner in next week's budget

The Gillard government's announcement that a National Children's Commissioner will be established this year needs to be matched with adequate funding in next week's budget, the Australian Greens said today.

"It's pleasing that this essential role, which was a Greens' proposal, will be operating under the Australian Human Rights Commission by the end of this year," Greens' youth and children spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

"But we echo the concerns of children's rights groups who worry the post may not be properly resourced.

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Government to adopt Greens push for a National Children's Commissioner a welcome step: Greens

The Australian Greens welcome the announcement today, by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and Ministers Collins and Macklin, that the government will establish a National Children's Commissioner within the Australian Human Rights Commission.

"Throughout my years in the federal parliament, I have been working to establish a special advocate for our youngest citizens so I am very pleased to hear that the government has at last taken action" said youth and children's spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

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