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

Building blocks needed for children’s rights

Media releases

11 April 2018

A new report has outlined the next steps the New Zealand Government needs to take to make good on our promises to children.

“The Prime Minister has said that she wants Aotearoa New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child” said Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft.

“This is a vision we can all get behind, and we need to put the systems in place to make that happen.”

“Twenty-five years ago the Government of New Zealand promised to do better for all children when they signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Children’s Convention). Now we need to make sure New Zealand has put the foundations in place in our legislative and policy systems to facilitate that progress.”

“The Children’s Convention recognises children as people, with the same rights as everyone else, and also that they need extra support from adults – that means their families, whānau, communities and government decision-makers.

“Recent initiatives such as the Child Poverty Reduction Bill and the proposed Child Well-being Strategy are positive steps towards improving the lives of children in New Zealand. We need to ensure these are not one-off actions.

”The Children’s Convention Monitoring Group has released a report “Getting It Right: Building Blocks”. The report highlights where New Zealand is making progress on upholding children’s rights, and where action is still needed.

The basic building blocks which need attention include:

  • supporting children’s participation in decisions that affect them;
  • taking children and their views into account when new policies are developed, for example by using the Child Impact Assessment tool more widely;
  • making sure that children’s privacy and best interests are considered when collecting information about them; and
  • using the Children’s Convention to develop a plan for children and their wellbeing.

“If we don’t get these fundamental building blocks in place, there is little chance of the Convention ever being comprehensively put into effect in New Zealand.

“Twenty-five years after we have ratified it, let’s take the steps we need to fully embed the Children’s Convention in our laws and policies as well as in a national strategy for all children.”