Rights under the Children’s Convention
Everyone under 18 years has rights in this Convention. You have rights no matter who you are, what you look like, what your sex, sexual orientation, culture or religion is, if you are rich or poor, speak a different language or have a disability.
Adults should always work towards what is best for you and put your wellbeing first.
Decision makers should find out what is in your best interest by thinking of you and your rights and listening to your views
You have the right not to be taken out of the country illegally including by your parents.
You have the right to expect that the Government will do all it can to make sure you are not removed from your family or taken out of the country illegally. If this does happen the government of your home country (most likely New Zealand) should make sure you can get home.
You have the right to live with and be raised by your parents or family/whanau unless you are being harmed. You have the right to be protected from violence, abuse and neglect by your parents or caregivers.
If your parents or family/whanau can’t look after you properly, the Government must make sure that you live somewhere that is safe, where people respect you, your religion, culture and language.
If you are adopted, your adoption must be legal. You also have the right to the best care and to have your wellbeing put first.
The Government should ensure the provision of appropriate supports to guarantee that you are adopted by people who are able to give you the best care. For mokopuna Māori this means shared whakapapa.
The Government must make sure to uphold the laws that help you to live somewhere that is safe, where people respect you.
You have the right to special protection and help if you’re a refugee (if you are forced to leave your home and live in a different country). You also have the same rights as other children and young people born in New Zealand.
If you are a refugee you have the right to special protection and help whether you’ve come to New Zealand with other people or not.
The government must ensure that your views and best interests are considered in the refugee status determination process.
If you are placed in foster care then you have the right to have your living arrangements regularly checked to make sure that they are working out well for you.
The government should ensure that your living arrangements are regularly checked.
You have the right to learn about and practice your own culture language and religion. If you are from a minority or indigenous culture you have the right to special protection from things that might stop you from being you.
The Government should recognise and respect your right to learn about and express your culture in the way that you want.
You have the right to be safe from all forms of abuse, sexual assault and exploitation, war, drugs and the drug trade, kidnapping, torture, cruel and harmful punishment.
You should not be placed in prison or detained except as a last resort. You should not be placed in prison or detained with adults unless it’s in your best interests.
The Government should put in place measures to reduce the harm to you if these things do happen to you.
The Government must also do everything it can to help children and young people.