Tasmania's Commissioner for Children and Young People says raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 would allow for earlier therapeutic interventions to stop children from entering the criminal justice system.
Attorneys general from each state and territory are being urged by legal rights groups and children's commissioners to recommend raising the age when they formally meet on July 27.
In Tasmania, about 300 children aged between 10 and 14 are classified as criminal offenders, having progressed through community conferencing, formal and informal cautions and onto prosecutions.
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Tasmanian Children's Commissioner Leanne McLean said the July meeting of attorneys general presented an opportunity to bring Australia into line with international standards by raising the age to 14.
She said it would allow for a more holistic intervention when children commit a crime, rather than relying on the criminal justice system.
"The answer is a therapeutic system that responds to their needs with appropriate mental health support, education support, ensuring they have a roof over their head, connection to culture, that they feel heard and can participate in decisions being made about them," Ms McLean said.
"Often they have had lives that include experiences of family violence, homelessness, not accessing the nutrition they need. These are basic human needs.
"When you're homeless and you're a child, you have no income support, no one is taking care of you, crime becomes a means of survival."
She said providing therapeutic support earlier made more sense economically because it would give children the opportunity to achieve their potential.
Aboriginal children continue to be vastly over-represented in youth offender figures in Tasmania.
Palawa elder Rodney Dillon said raising the age was a key way of supporting at-risk children.
"Raising the age will help a lot. We need bipartisan support on this, because if we don't, it won't work," he said.
"Community-led and Indigenous-led solutions are needed, but really it's raise the age for everyone."
Minister for Youth Richard Colbeck said it was a matter for state governments.
"It's not something that I've looked at specifically, I think it's a part of that report, and so as Minister for Youth I clearly will consider that report," he said.
"Effectively, those decisions are largely matters for the state ... but we will be working with the states on those things, particularly through the Attorney-General's department."