We advocate for the interests, rights and wellbeing of children and young people

As a child or young person, you have special rights, and we want to make sure that you know what they are, and that you have your rights respected.

You are a valued member of Aotearoa, and we think knowing and advocating for your rights is important.

It is the Children's Commissioner's role to advocate for your interests, rights and wellbeing.

Your rights as a child or young person

Rights are all about respect. People respecting your rights and you respecting theirs.

As well as your rights as a human being, you have special rights as a child or young person.

In New Zealand, as you grow up you will be able to do different things at different ages. You can read about your rights at different ages.

If you are a child or young person with a disability you might want to check out the Human Rights Commission too.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

UNCRC is an agreement between 193 countries that spells out the rights of ALL children and young people under 18 years old.

Our Government has to make sure all children and young people are enjoying their rights. That means the Government is responsible for making sure you and your parents know your rights, and that your rights are upheld.

Our website has an outline of your rights under UNCRC.

UNCRC is divided into 42 promises called 'articles' (PDF, 150KB; information sheet by UNICEF), including:

  • Non discrimination
  • The right to what's best for you
  • The right to life, survival and development
  • The right to have your say

You can find the convention in full at the United Nations Human Rights site.

Your rights if you are Māori, Tangata Whenua of Aotearoa

As Māori, and Tangata Whenua, you have special rights under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

You can download a poster on Te Tiriti rights (PDF, 311KB). He Tohu have awesome information available too.

For info on the UN Declaration of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, head over to the Human Rights Commission.

Your rights if you are in care or youth justice

If you are in care or youth justice you have rights that must be respected.

It is the job of VOYCE Whakarongo Mai to listen to your needs, connect you with others, and help you be heard when you need it.

Oranga Tamariki's website has heaps of info for you about being in care.

You can also read about what other children and young people have said about being in care or youth justice. 

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The Child Rights Line

For free, independent advice on children’s rights:

Mai World: Child and Youth Voices Project


Learn more about our Child and Youth Voices Project 

Have YOUR say NOW

Korero mai e hoa ma, share your opinion with the Children's Commissioner NOW