The death of a child from assault or neglect is a tragic event which goes to highlight the critical issues of safeguarding children and developing effective social policy. The requirement to protect children from threats to life posed by abuse and neglect is internationally enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and within commonwealth and state legislation.
Previous research has suggested that the number of children who die in circumstances concerning of maltreatment is considerably higher than official statistics suggest. The Commission is currently conducting research into the nature and extent of the fatal assault and neglect of children in Queensland. The aim of this research is to better understand the role that familial maltreatment, in particular, plays in the deaths of children and young people, and to build a solid evidence base to assist in reducing the number of maltreatment-related fatalities in the state.
This paper is the second released in a Trends and Issues Paper series regularly publishing data about different types of preventable deaths and injury.
Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian, State of Queensland 2012