Are we there yet? An examination of whether Australia’s restorative justice youth conferencing programs are compatible with the core principles contained in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Australia has been at the forefront of the international evolution of restorative justice youth conferencing programs. While these programs have received much praise and have been expanded on a legislative basis to each state and territory, there has been no evaluation of whether they are consistent with children’s rights. This thesis examines Australia’s youth conferencing programs by reference to the four core children’s rights principles contained in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The conclusion reached is that while the youth conferencing programs reflect restorative justice principles, their current operation needs modification in order better to comply with children’s rights standards.