Case studies

Case study one: Example of direct discrimination

Under the Fair Pay Commission, all Australian workers under 21 are subject to a 'junior wage'.1 The ‘junior wage' sets workers rates of pay as a percentage of the full award pay for their industry. This ensures that some young people do not receive equal pay for equal work. Table one shows the fraction of adult wages that young workers are entitled to by age.2

Fraction of adult wages awarded

Lowest Australian Industry Award

Highest Award

Under 16 year olds



16 year olds



17 year olds



18 year olds



19 year olds



20 year olds



Further information:

Case study two: Example of indirect discrimination

The planning policy document guiding town development rejuvenation across the UK, Planning Policy Statement 6: planning for town centres,3 squarely emphasises the benefits of retail and nightlife functions in town centres. Both of these functions however, overlook the way children and young people might use a town centre4 – as children, lower income means they are normally marginal consumers and they do not use night clubs. Researchers have found that young people are often drawn to town centres for reason outside of shopping and consumption, including green and open spaces.5 This policy indirectly discriminates against children, as the unintended consequences of this policy will be town planning that overlooks children's needs.

In Norway, municipalities have a statutory duty to consult with children in urban planning initiatives. Norsk Form, the Norwegian Mapping authority and the Norwegian Ombudsperson for Children's Office piloted a project to support children’s input by using Google Earth and digitised maps to explain how they use urban spaces. This method is now used systematically. Read more in Children's Right to the City (CRIN Review, 2008, p. 19).

Further information:

1. Australian Fair Pay Commission, 2009 'Wage Setting Decisions' (online)
2. Australian Government 2008 'Australian Government Submission to the Australian Fair Pay Commission' (online)
3. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2005 Planning Policy Statement Number 6: Planning for Town Centres, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, London
4. Beunderman, J., Hannon, C. and Bradwell, P. 2007 Seen and Heard: Reclaiming the public realm with children and young people, Demos, London
5. Wooley, H. and Johns, R. 2001 'Skateboarding: the city as a playground' Journal of Urban Design, 6 (2)