The group, convened by the Office of Children’s Commissioner, reports on the concluding observations from the 2016 examination of New Zealand by the UN Committee, on our commitment to UNCROC. It recommends steps to ensure that as a nation, New Zealand upholds the principles of the Convention through policy reform, ensuring children have protection from the effects of poverty, violence and discrimination.
The report reinforces CPAG’s child-centred policy recommendations which will reverse the work-focussed systemic changes that have failed our children, and contributed to the vast levels of poverty we now see.
“For the last almost 25 years, since the New Zealand Government first committed to the principles of UNCROC, we have failed to take our responsibilities to that Convention seriously” says Janfrie Wakim, CPAG Co-convenor.
Implementing effective strategies to sustain reduced rates of child poverty and preventable illnesses, enable access to healthy homes and quality education and importantly provide income support for children without discrimination are critical.
“We absolutely can do better to support the rights of children in New Zealand. We agree the Children’s Convention needs to be implemented across government, and children’s rights must be at the centre of government policy and reform,so that all children in Aotearoa-New Zealand can flourish,” says Wakim.
“The UNCROC Monitoring Group is a step in the right direction for children living in poverty, to assess how we are tracking, where we are falling short, and what steps need to be taken to ensure children’s rights are better protected and respected in New Zealand.”
CPAG commends the initiative by the UNCROC Monitoring Group, and agrees that if policies were created based on the fundamental principle that a child’s needs must be met and their rights upheld, the result will be a society in which every person has the opportunity to do well in life, and in which all children thrive.