Melbourne woman complains to UN, saying parenting cuts are human rights abuse

A Melbourne single mother has lodged a complaint with the United Nations, labelling changes to Australia’s parenting payment scheme discrimination and a human rights abuse.

Mother-of-three Juanita McLaren and the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children have lodged a complaint, officially known as a communication, with the UN over cuts and changes to the parenting payment.

The complaint asks the UN to determine whether Australia has violated its international human rights obligations. Supporters hope the complaint will hold the government accountable for its cuts.

Terese Edwards, the chief executive of the single mothers lobby group, said the move “condemned women who head up a single-parent family to a life of hardship as they contend with housing stress, deprivation, skip meals and forgo medical treatment”.

“Denying access to a parenting payment when a single parent’s youngest child turns eight years old is a violation of human rights, as defined by the core United Nations treaties including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,” she said.

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