The Aboriginal Legal Service has called on ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay to raise Canberra's age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years old.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows Aboriginal children in the ACT between 10 and 14 years old are up to seven times more likely to be charged than non-Indigenous children the same age.
The legal service's urging means increased pressure on the government to act after the ACT's Human Rights Commission called for the age to be raised to 12 years old in December last year.
Aboriginal Legal Service chairman Bunja Smith said raising the age would help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children avoid being "hooked" by the criminal justice system.
"What we're witnessing in the ACT is that those children, at that age, come into contact with the justice system and are hooked, they can't break away from it," Mr Smith said.
"They might be placed on a good behaviour bond. Some people think that's a good thing but it links them to the justice system."
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Accounting for both sexes, Aboriginal children in the ACT aged 10 to 14 were on average four times more likely to be charged than non-Aboriginal children. Indigenous boys were seven times more likely to be charged and girls four times more likely.
Mr Smith said Mr Ramsay had been "very receptive" and "very open" to the idea but the Aboriginal Legal Service chairman was yet to meet with ACT Policing.
He said a common situation was a child being arrested and charged for minor theft, which could often begin a cycle for Indigenous children.
"What we really need is for police to start using discretionary powers," Mr Smith said.
"They're trained professionals. Police officers are human beings too, how would they feel if it was their kid?"
There are laws that allow courts to register a child's mental incapacity to grasp their wrongdoing but Mr Smith said this was problematic.
"For that protection to come into play they have to engage with the system: they have to be charged, they have to plead not guilty, they have to go before a judge," Mr Smith said.
"If we're picking them up at 10 and hooking them into the justice system they can look forward to a life of crime.
"If we can look at the age of criminality being raised ... that's going to provide a protection buffer for these kids."
The ACT was one of the better states for Indigenous children in that age bracket, according to the ABS.
Northern Territory children in that age bracket were 18 times more likely to be charged, the worst rate compared to NSW, South Australia, Queensland and the ACT.
Only Indigenous boys in NSW were better off than in the ACT, with boys in that age bracket about five times more likely to be charged.
Mr Smith said people might argue there shouldn't be leniency on crime but said it was about teaching right and wrong to young children.
Mr Smith, as well as representatives from Amnesty International and the Human Rights Law Centre, met with the Attorney-General on May 31.
A spokeswoman for Mr Ramsay said the ACT government would work on building a "strong, just and inclusive society".
Late last year, ACT Human Rights Commissioner Dr Helen Watchirs and ACT Children's Commissioner Jodie Griffiths-Cook called for the criminal age of responsibility to be raised to 12 years old.