CPAG welcomes new report on Children's Rights

Child Poverty Action Group welcomes the new report from the Children’s Convention Monitoring Group (CCMG), and its timely release following the 25th anniversary of New Zealand signing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC).

The new report, entitled Getting It Right: Building Blocks, looks at how new and current legislation, including the Government’s proposed Child Poverty Reduction Bill, could be improved to ensure that all children’s rights are protected and that they are able to thrive.

“Missing from the draft legislation for the Child Poverty Reduction Bill currently in the House is any mention of our commitment to the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” says Frank Hogan, CPAG’s law and children’s rights spokesperson.

“It is important that any approach to reducing child poverty and improving child wellbeing is  underpinned by strong support for children’s rights.

“Adequate food, shelter and safety and their families’ access to an adequate income are the absolute minimum right of every child.”

CPAG supports the recommendation by the CCMG to ensure that any data collected on children’s wellbeing is “disaggregated, by age, gender identity, disability, geographic location, ethnic origin, nationality and socioeconomic background,” as well as the recommendation to include children in the process of setting policy and designing services.

“We have too many children facing poverty and homelessness and it is important that various determinants of hardship be understood in terms of who is most affected and how we can support ALL children to be adequately housed, to ensure that all their needs are met, and that they are supported into the best possible outcomes,” says Hogan.

“Children’s voices in the matter are crucial to building genuinely child-centred policies and services, that are able to provide for children and their families appropriately.”

CPAG recently submitted on the draft Child Poverty Reduction Bill, saying that sustaining a reduction in poverty and improved child wellbeing will require the introduction of many new child-centred policies that are implemented Government-wide and interact across all sectors.

CPAG says that such policies will be critical to upholding and maintaining the right of all children, without discrimination, to have good childhoods: to be cared for by their parents and whānau, with adequate support where needed; to be free from violence, to have a good standard of living, timely access to quality healthcare and a quality education, and to have recreational opportunities and to play and be with friends.