Efforts to combat child abuse will be substantially boosted following the endorsement of the National Standards for Working with Children Checks (the National Standards), which will establish nationally consistent screening standards for people who propose to work with children.
The Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said the shared commitment of the Commonwealth and all States and Territories to the National Standards reflected the importance of protecting children from harm.
“We need to be realistic about the threat of child abuse, both online and here within our communities,” Mr Dutton said.
“These heinous crimes have serious and long-lasting effects on victims, survivors and the community.
“Abuse of children is a global epidemic that is becoming more prevalent, more organised and more extreme.
“The National Standards implement a number of recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse to ensure a consistent approach to screening people in child-related work.”
The States and Territories will now take further action to ensure laws reflect agreed National Standards.
“Protecting our children is one of the most important things we can do as a government,” Mr Dutton said.
“The National Standards build on the Government’s commitment to protecting our most vulnerable community members – our children. We will continue to work with the States and Territories to ensure we are ever vigilant in our efforts to bolster child safety across Australia.”
For more information on the National Standards for Working with Children Checks visit: https://www.childabuseroyalcommissionresponse.gov.au/government-response/role-states-and-territories.
Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child sexual exploitation and abuse are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at www.crimestoppers.com.au