children's rights

24 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Minister for human services, Shadow Minister for Human Services, Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten

AUSTRALIAN KINSHIP CARERS NEED YOUR HELP [What if this happened to you? Could you cope?]

An infant is dropped off to you by the police at 2am in the morning. A quick phone call was the only warning. She has been removed from her parents (your kin) due to abuse or neglect or for safety reasons.  DHHS follow up in a few days and deem the child to be safe and close their case. You are left with an unsettled child, no funds, no support and many years later massive court costs to ensure that child remains safe and loved and cared for. This is one of many horror stories Kinship carers are forced to live through. Could you?   As many of you are aware the incidence of children being cared for by relatives is increasing at an alarming rate in Australia. What you may not know is that many of these carers –Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles Etc- are doing so WITHOUT ANY SUPPORT from the government or community service providers. They receive no funding to assist with raising this child and many have no option other than to access their superannuation to support a safe environment for the child/ren and raise them above the poverty line. Often having to give up their job, their lifestyle must change completely to accommodate the needs of the child. They do the same job as foster carers however they receive no acknowledgement, nor any financial assistance. They receive no legal aid as this is given to the biological parents to attempt to reunify with that child. Some of the parents of these children may have mental health issues or a history of drug abuse however they are not held accountable for their actions or lack of care for their child knowing that the government will support them in getting the child back even though no requirements have been met. Having a child is not a right it is a privilege. These innocent children are being abused by the system and being forced to return to their biological parent/s into an unsafe, and at times volatile environment where their needs are not being met and more psychological damage is being done before being returned to the kinship carer who then is faced with challenging behaviours and professional bills to attempt to repair the damage caused. There are no accurate statistics on how many kinship carers there are in Australia as many choose not to be known officially for fear of DHHS reprisals, and those that have had children placed in their care by DHHS have had their case closed (and therefore aren’t counted in statistics) due to the child being in a safe environment. Funding is not offered if the case is closed early. Kinship carers love, feed, clothe and pay for all medical expenses out of their own pocket and as they are ageing themselves often put their own needs last and cannot afford to pay for their medical expenses. The childrens needs cost more each year and the carers do a fantastic job in an uncertain environment. The children are their priority. ALL kinship carers should be recognised and provided with the same financial assistance as foster carers. (Foster carers get a choice to be carers, we have no choice!) This is the next generation they are raising, to be productive, stable members of society. But they need your signature, to raise awareness, to change the system and to provide a life above the poverty line for Australia’s most vulnerable carers and children. Please sign and share to show your support.

Sue Erben
2,651 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to NZ Minister of Transport


Two children have died while cycling on New Zealand roads recently.  One child died while cycling on a school journey just days after the election and another died while out cycling on a weekend.  Another child was seriously injured while cycling on the school journey.  This should not be happening.  With a rising road toll, these sad deaths and injuries are concerning. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds has set up a petition to urge the future Transport Minister to put rules in place that protect children on our roads as they did in the Netherlands in the 70s. In the Netherlands parents combined as a pressure group in 1973 to campaign for safer roads for children calling it ‘Stop de Kindermoord’ (‘Stop the Child Murder’), after over 3000 people died on their roads, many of them children. This forced the hand of their Government to put rules in place and the now famous cycleways being built. The Netherlands is now a world leader in road safety and has one of the lowest road tolls per capita in the word. “Here in New Zealand road safety panels have been set up and recommendations have been made, but little has been acted upon by our Government, leading to deaths of innocent road users.  Not everyone can or wants to drive their children to school.” says Lucinda Rees, who with NZ School Speeds campaigns for consistent speed limits outside schools and safe roads for children. “The driving culture needs to change and this will only come about if pedestrians and cyclists are welcomed on our roads, with rules that protect them.” While it takes a long time to build cycle lanes, would the Transport Minister please consider introducing rules to make school journeys safer for children: A mandatory cyclist passing gap of 1 metre for vehicles travelling at up to 60km/h and 1.5 metres for vehicles traveling above 60km/h Consistent speed limits outside schools of 30km/h maximum at peak times as recommended by the World Health Organisation Speed limits outside schools in rural areas can be up to 100km/h and we have no consistent speed limits outside schools at peak times. Children who walk or cycle to school should be guaranteed a safe speed limit outside schools, since it is a place where they are easily distracted. Rees says: “There is a 20km/h school bus rule, but no consistent rule for the many children coming and going from school. These inconsistencies are unacceptable. “Please stand up for our children and bring these simple yet important rules in place to make roads safe for all our vulnerable road users by changing the culture of drivers. “Our thoughts are with all those involved in the recent deaths and injuries. We must stop child murder on our roads. Please help make this happen by signing the petition.”  

Lucinda Rees
6,463 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Greg Hunt MP, The Hon. Greg Hunt and The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration

Warning Labels for Children's Asthma Medication That Causes Suicidal Thoughts and Actions

We ask the Government to ensure that fluorescent warning labels are compulsory on the outside of the packaging for all medications which contain the active ingredient Montelukast. No child should have to endure suicidal ideation, depression and anxiety. Currently in Australian there is no consumer information inside or outside of the Singulair packaging. In Australia many children as young as 2 years of age are prescribed an asthma/allergy preventer medication called Singulair (Montelukast). Sadly this medication has resulted in suicide, suicidal ideation, anxiety, agitation, severe nightmares and much more. Parents in Australia deserve to be able to make an informed decisions about the medications they administer to their children. Once educated they can make a risks vs benefits analysis. 'Informed consent' is lacking when parents don't know of the potential neuropsychiatric side effects of this medication. Harrison Sellick's Story - Currently 10 years old.  My son Harrison started taking Singulair (Montelukast) at 2 years old. The longer he was on Singulair the more his behavior became disturbing. By age four, Harrison had very little control over his emotions; he was having meltdowns and was unable to be calmed down. He was constantly putting himself down, saying he hated himself and everyone around him. It was at age four when we remember the suicidal thoughts beginning.   By age Five Harrison was out of control, he developed a need to flee, if he became upset he would run. It wouldn't matter where we were, near a main road, in a shopping center or even at home, he would run straight out the door and off down the street. He would flee over small requests such as picking up toys or eating with a fork instead of his hands.  He would tell me that if I sent him to school he would run out on the road and throw himself in front of a car; there was intent in his eyes. One night during bath time he asked me to break both of his legs so that he would fall to the bottom of the bath and drown, I was horrified, heartbroken, scared and confused.  During one of his medical assessments he stated to the doctor “I feel like there’s nothing in my body, I’m just breathing without lungs, blood just pumping without a heart.”   Harrison was 5 years old when he had a suicide attempt; he was in terrible psychological pain and didn’t understand what was happening to him. No child should have to endure the psychological stress our son experienced. It is fair to say that he lost a part of his childhood to this medication; a time of his life that should have been magical and happy was frightening and very low.  Following are just some of the side effects Harrison suffered: •    suicidal thoughts and attempt•    anxiety•    anger•    aggression•    abnormal behaviour•    depression•    crying•    nose bleeds•    nightmares•    lack of sensation for urination•    pains in legs•    anorexia type thought processes•    compulsive hand washing and germ phobia•    agitation•    stomach pain•    headaches•    tiredness•    disturbances in his attention  Harrison’s path to recovery has been long and painful but he is getting better every year. We believe that Harrison experienced some long-term side effects from this medication and we are committed to ensuring that other children don’t suffer the way he has suffered. Other Harrison's Story (no surname provided) - Currently 7 years old After several years on singulair, my son Harrison was gradually displaying some unusually emotional behaviours. He was an incredibly calm and happy little boy, so the few instances we saw of him totally losing his temper over minor issues was a little concerning. However, when be was six, his mental health drastically and rapidly deteriorated. We had been away for a long weekend and run out of singulair tablets so he was without them for approximately 3 days. We noticed a dramatic change in him immediately. Harrison developed a deep depression and our usually enthusiastic, cheerful little boy was withdrawn, morose, unmotivated and just so sad. He was convinced that he was unloved and that everyone hated him. Harrison also began having uncontrollable rages over the most minor of issues. He was violent and would up end furniture in his temper. He would gnash his teeth and contort his face in pure anger over nothing of any consequence at all. He would also try to run out of the home if he felt upset, which was extremely worrying. Harrison also developed a deep sense of self loathing. He was unable to look at photos of himself, and would place or photo frames face down so he would not see himself. He loathed having to catch his reflection in the mirror and would sob and say "I just want to look horrible. I deserve to look horrible". He developed irrational and paranoid fears and was constantly scared that he and his family were in immediate danger. Things got do bad that Harrison began to say things to me like "I just want to be in heaven now Mum" and "I wish I could fall out of my bed and onto my head" (he has a high, loft style bed). To hear him say things like this, with a desperate, haunted look in his eyes was horrifying. Since ceasing singulair, Harrison has made huge improvements. He is smiling and energetic again. His enthusiasm and sparkle has returned. He has had a lot of psychological therapy which has helped a lot. However, he still has a way to go before we can say that he has made a full recovery. Unfortunately , we just don't know whether he will suffer from long term side effects and whether a degree of irreversible damage has been done. We desperately need further research into the effects of this drug to understand why some children are so horribly affected and suffer horrifying neuro psychiatric side effects. It is also crucial that research is conducted into the long term side effects of this drug. In Conclusion - Children that take this medication are often unable to communicate the horror they are experiencing so they rely on their parents to identify the side effects. A list of the potential side effects is buried deep in the product information which is not often provided with the prescription. There are no warnings on the outside of the packaging informing parents or adult users to seek medical advice immediately should suicidal ideation or severe behavioural issues present in the user.  As a member of the Montelukast (Singulair) Side Effects Support and Discussion Group, which has over 1900 members (most of which are parents of affected children) we ask that a fluorescent warning label be placed on the outside of the Singulair (Montelukast) packaging in order to educate parents and adult users of these severe side effects. Many affected children suffer long term side effects and their struggles are severe. More research into these side effects and best practice for assisting our children to heal post Singulair (Montelukast) is also required. We ask the Government to ensure that fluorescent warning labels are compulsory on the outside of the packaging for all medications which contain the active ingredient Montelukast. We hope this will prevent other children from suffering the horror so many children have already endured.  Package labelling is an important step in protecting children that have no voice. Here is a link to the 7:30 Report story which went to air on 5 September 2016 - Kindest regards,Vanessa SellickAdvocate for the Awareness of Singulair (Montelukast) Side Effects.

Vanessa Sellick
1,788 supporters