Achieving a just, democratic, peaceful and humane society through upholding human rights and the rule of law.


Kids Behind Barbed Wire


30 years after launching the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children are being held in appalling conditions in military detention in Palestine, behind wire in Mexico, on Manus and Nauru as part of Australia’s offshore processing policy and in a prison condemned for adult occupation in the NT of Australia. Children with mental disabilities suffer doubly in custody and in institutional care.

This panel session by the International Commission of Jurists (Victoria), in conjunction with the Deakin Law School, brings together global experts in person, online and by video to highlight the growing concern that the rights of children have been lost in the miasma of political rhetoric.

Our panel will answer questions on their experience of the practical and legal issues in their roles attempting to find dignity and respect for children subjected to the harshest of treatment. Panellists will be:

Gerard Horton – former Sydney barrister and co-founder of Military Court Watch, an NGO that monitors the detention and prosecution of children by the Israeli military.

Matthew Albert – Melbourne barrister, winner of the John Gibson Award for contributions to human rights and pro bono advocate in multiple cases in the Federal and High Court concerning the urgent medical transfers of detained children to Australia for medical treatment.

John Lawrence QC – Darwin barrister and campaigner for the rights of Aboriginal children in detention in the Northern Territory.

Dr Oliver Lewis – former Executive Director of the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (MDAC), an NGO in Budapest working for the rights of people with disabilities and mental health issues in Europe and Africa, and Professor of Law and Social Justice at the University of Leeds.

Julie Gilbert Rosicky – Executive Director International Social Service, USA.

Cassandra Seery – an Associste Lecturer at Deakin Law School specialising in child rights and policy and a former member of the Victorian public service, where she led the vulnerable children portfolio in Aboriginal Affairs and specialised in other related portfolio areas, including multicultural affairs, family violence and youth justice.

The panel will be coordinated and hosted by Professor Felicity Gerry QC and Campbell Thomson.

When: Thursday 21 March, 6pm

Where: Deakin Downtown 727 Collins Square, Collins Street, Melbourne

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