NIT: Coalition of experts call on NSW government to raise age of criminal responsibility

A coalition of legal, First Nations and Human Rights organisations have come together to call on the NSW government to raise the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14.

The group, which includes the Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) NSW/ACT, AbSec, Amnesty International Australia, ANTAR, Australian Services Union NSW & ACT Services Branch, Community Legal Centres NSW, Just Reinvest NSW, Justice Reform Initiative, New South Wales Council of Social Service (NCOSS), NSW Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL), NSW Teachers Federation, Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Youth Action, brings a deep understanding of the negative impacts criminalising children has as well as knowledge and expertise on how to do better as a community.

In a statement, the group said better outcomes and a safer community wouldn't be achieved by doing things that don't work.

"Dragging children as young as ten through police stations and courts, strip-searching them and locking them up causes harm and fails to deliver on community safety," the statement said.

"In NSW, we can raise the age to 14 to make our communities safer through evidence-informed and community-led responses and alternatives."

The campaigners hope that the Minns Labor government - elected in March after more than a decade of Coalition rule - will approach the issue with a new perspective.

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