Waking up slow after a good night’s sleep fuelled by being exhausted is one of the things that makes me smile. Feeling refreshed, waking up with the sun shining and time on the clock. Having time to read up for the day, to have a slow breakfast (thanks so much Sandra for the delicious cereal cookies!) and a morning walk, what more could you want?
Catching the tram, looking at beautiful sunny Geneva passing me by, with music in my ears, a wonderful start to the day. We were meeting in the city at 10, but because I arrived a little early, I had the time to edit a few photos, and to write a few words. Totally ready for the day.
We arrived one by one, and we set out an agenda for the day: first we were to introduce ourselves, our interest and our best best-case scenario outcomes for the review; second, we would talk out schedules and logistics; third, we were to coördinate our media engagement; and, finally, and perhaps most importantly, we would extract from the Government report, the Listen to Children Report and the Committee’s list of questions central points for engagement with the committee.
The morning went by in a flash, all the planning, all the talk of what each person represented, and what they were hoping to contribute, and hoping to receive. It was especially interesting to hear the different perspectives and focuses of the different organisations within the taskforce.
A quick lunch by the lake with Janani (another thing to be happy about!) and we were on to the bulk of the discussion: the policy issues and hopes for the Committee’s recommendations to the Australian government. Issues ranging from problems facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to homeless children in Australia, immigration and even the reception of child soldiers within Australia were brought up. Each issue was placed under a topic that the Committee was to bring up, so that Committee members could be informed on each issue in the order it would be discussed.
Some of the conversations broached issues that were extremely difficult to hear, and problems that I couldn’t see a way out of: problems entrenched within our system that would take significant reform to address. I’ll post about these issues as they are brought up by the committee.
- On Monday the Fourth, General Measures of Implementation; Definition of the Child; General Principles and Civil Rights and Freedoms.
- On Tuesday, in the morning session, we should be covering Family Environment and Alternative Care; Basic Health and Welfare; Education, Leisure and Cultural Activities and Special Protection Measures.
- In the afternoon session, the Optional Protocols (on Sale of Children and Child Soldiers) will be discussed.
- We estimate that the UNCRC’s recommendations to the Australian Government will be released on the 16th.
After joining the Taskforce crew for a spot of dinner (Lebanese food, with really nice Hummus), I headed off to meet Sandra and go to a BBQ. Of course, I caught the wrong one — actually, the right one, but the wrong way — and I ended up in France.