Comment on NZ's implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child» 08/09/2010, Posted by Diana Beattie
- CC_UNCROCREPORT_02.09.10.pdf 113 Downloads
- 02-Sep-2010_10-54-04_CRC_report-NZHRC.doc 103 Downloads
The NZ Human Rights Commission and the NZ Children's Commissioner have both released comments on New Zealand's implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC).
The UNCROC comments will help to inform the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which, in January 2011, will review New Zealand's performance over the last five years.
The HRC Commission's UNCROC comments find the situation positive for most children and young people in New Zealand. The human rights of the majority of children are protected. In the areas of health, education, justice and wellbeing, there have been important initiatives, including the amendment to section 59 of the Crimes Act to remove the justification of the use of force for the purposes of correction. There has been improved access to primary health care, increased support through the Working for Families package and some improvements in key socioeconomic indicators for Maori and Pacific children.
However, a recent health report shows New Zealand ranks low compared to other nations for child health and has high truancy and exclusion from education rates for Maori, Pacific and disabled youth.
Other areas where New Zealand falls short comparatively are infant mortality, male youth suicide, sudden infant death, child poverty, abuse and age of criminal prosecution. Poor health, overcrowding and poverty are disproportionately experienced in Maori and Pacific households.
The NZ Children's Commissioner's comments note that while progress has been made in the implementation of UNCROC and in the enjoyment by children in New Zealand of their rights under the Convention, much remains to be done. The three greatest challenges are:
- having children's rights and interests given more weight in central government policy and operational decision-making
- addressing the disparities in wellbeing that see some 20 percent of children fall well behind in their right to optimal development
- increasing children's participation in decision making and in the governance and management of the institutions in which they spend much of their time.
Report of the NZ Children's Commissioner to the United nations Committee on the Rights of the Child 2010
Comments of the NZ Human Rights Commission on NZ's implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child