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UNICEF report should be a watershed

Respecting the rights of children must be a priority.

UNICEF report should be a watershed.

"The recently released UNICEF report on child deaths is a clear indication that New Zealanders must make child welfare a number one social and political priority," said Parents Centre NZ President, Sharron Cole.

"It a national shame that New Zealand has been identified as having the third worst rate of death by child abuse and murder of the 27 countries surveyed. New Zealand should be a great place to raise children. The truth is for too many children, New Zealand is hell on earth."

"The tragedy of child abuse and murder represents a continuum of social and political neglect," said Mrs Cole. "It is high time our political leaders recognised the need to support and educate New Zealand parents and caregivers, to ensure that violence toward children is never acceptable"

"Addressing the attitudes and behaviours underlying the rate of child deaths means educating people about acceptable and constructive parenting behaviours. It also means working across all sectors or the community to eliminate child poverty, and supporting parents to be the best they can be."

"Children are being neglected, abused, and murdered because they are not a priority on the political agenda."

"Repealing section 59 of the Crimes Act would be a significant signal to everyone that it is not ok to hit children, and that striking a child is never reasonable," said Mrs Cole.

"Political leadership is as much about having the courage to protect the weakest members of our society as it is about supporting innovation and prosperity. This Government has lost sight of the real issues in its creation of ivory towers of inertia."

"The list of names of innocent deaths is a national shame. Our grief must be used to energise our determination for change."

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