Children should be supported to learn and grow – not locked up behind bars.

The Greens have introduced legislation to the Victorian Parliament to raise the age of criminal responsibility from just 10 to 14. We need to change the laws across the country that mean kids as young as 10 can be arrested, put through the court system and locked up. And right now in Victoria, we have an opportunity to lead the way.

But we need your help. We’ve also launched an open letter to the Premier to show the overwhelming community support for raising the age.

Will you add your name to our open letter to show your support? Together, we can build pressure on the Victorian Government to make this crucial change that will give children a fair chance to thrive – and set a positive example for other states around Australia to follow. 

The ACT has already committed to raising the age to 14, thanks to the leadership of the ACT Greens – now it is Victoria’s turn.


Open letter to the Premier of Victoria

CC: Attorney General of Victoria

CC: Minister for Youth Justice, Minister for Corrections

CC: Minister for Aboriginal Affairs

Dear Premier,

Children should be cared for and protected, supported and guided to learn and grow.

Yet today in Victoria children under the age of 14 can be arrested, be subject to invasive police procedures, and locked up behind bars. What a confusing and terrifying experience that must be for a child.

Worse, across Australia, 65% of children in prison are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, exposing the systemic racism in our policing and legal system.

Medical experts tell us that these young children are still developing, and early contact with the police and criminal justice system has profound life-long consequences to their future wellbeing, including contributing to their early death.

So we call on you today, to put an end to this blatant, systemic discrimination in our justice system.

Please vote YES for the Greens bill to Raise the Age of criminal responsibility to 14 years old in Victoria. Because a progressive state like Victoria should be leading this reform as an example to the nation.

Australia’s low minimum age of criminal responsibility is out of step with international standards. Globally, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has called on countries to raise the age to at least 14 years old, and singled out Australia’s record on this. 

First Nations organisations, medical and legal experts, and human rights organisations across Australia all agree.

But we now also know that the expert report to the Standing Council of Attorneys General has made a clear recommendation for all Australian States and Territories to Raise the Age to 14-years of age.  

There simply is no longer any excuse not to urgently change the laws across this nation. 

Please give our children a fair chance by Raising the Age in Victoria.

Yours sincerely,

Samantha Ratnam MP, Leader of the Victorian Greens

Dr Tim Read MP

Ellen Sandell MP

Sam Hibbins MP

Gabrielle De Vietri

Aiv Puglielli MP

Katherine Copsey MP

Sarah Mansfield MP



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