Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated. The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults.
Pope Francis, Letter to the People of God, 20 August 2018
As with all peoples, children have human rights across the full spectrum of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.
Because children are recognised as having particular inherent needs and dependencies, they also have particular rights.
Both the Commonwealth of Australia and the Vatican (Holy See) ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in November 1990, this is the central international instrument that underpins both Australia’s and the Church’s approach to safeguarding children.
The Australian Human Rights Commission’s child friendly summary of children’s rights state that children have the right to:
The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has an abiding commitment to promote the safety, welfare and well being of children and vulnerable persons — particularly those who participate in the life of the Diocese as part of our faith communities in parishes, in our diocesan systemic schools, early education centres and out-of-school hours care service, as part of our welfare and community services through CatholicCare and other diocesan ministries.
The office of Director of Safeguarding has been established by decree, issued by the Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle.
The Office of Safeguarding is an integral part of the Diocese, reporting directly to the Bishop’s Office. The Office of Safeguarding is placed outside the Diocese’s services, programmes and parishes, overseeing their safeguarding standards in operation.
The Office of Safeguarding works with NSW Police, the Office of the Children’s Guardian, the Department of Community and Justice and other statutory authorities and specialist authorities within the Catholic Church in Australia to fulfil its responsibilities and maximise the safeguarding of children and vulnerable persons.
The Office of Safeguarding supports the Diocese to promote and uphold the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as institution of the Catholic Church in Australia.
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