Children’s Rights and the Right to Education


Wednesday 28th September, 2022

1.00pm-2.00pm AEST

This event has concluded

This is the 19th webinar in the series aimed at developing greater knowledge and understanding of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). In its Concluding Observations on Australia’s 5th and 6th reports, the UN CRC Committee referred to previous recommendations on the need for the Government to ensure respect for the views of the child, the inadequacy of efforts to Close the Gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, the need to ensure that all children with disabilities have access to inclusive education, and to invest more in improving education at the early childhood, primary and secondary levels.

Sophie Wiggans will outline the barriers that many students with disability in Queensland experience when seeking access to an inclusive education, and concerns present in all states in Australia. She will describe her organisation’s advocacy using the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and touch on the relevance of using the CRC as a tool to protect all children’s right to education as defined by the UN CRPD and CRC committees.

Jonathon Sargeant will focus on the recommendation in the Concluding Observations to “… Enhance children’s meaningful and empowered participation in the family, in the community and in schools, paying particular attention to girls, children with disabilities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children”. He will also comment on the shortcomings in current practices in the provision of education, highlighting the failure of Closing the Gap measures.
NOTE: At least half an hour will be allocated for questions and answers, and comments


Sophie Wiggans is a Systems Advocate at Queensland Advocacy for Inclusion (QAI). Sophie’s passion for upholding the human rights of people with disability comes from her experience in individual disability advocacy and previous work alongside people with disability and their families as a social worker in the health setting.

Dr Jonathon Sargeant is Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Children’s Rights Education, Inclusive Education and Classroom Management at the Australian Catholic University. Dr Sargeant’s current research focuses on the child’s participation rights from their perspective on their lives, educational experience and future.


Matthew Keeley is Director of Youth Law Australia (YLA), a legal service dedicated to children and young people’s rights and access to justice. Based at the Faculty of Law and Justice at UNSW Sydney, YLA provides legal assistance to approximately 10,000 people across Australia annually.

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