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UN reports on child poverty in New Zealand

For immediate release

Monday, 6 October 2003

United Nations reports on child poverty in New Zealand

The Public Health Association says the concerns of many community groups about the effects of child poverty in New Zealand have been backed up by a United Nations report.

The report by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child recommends the New Zealand government prioritises children in the budget, especially poor children. The report also calls for a range of health programmes and initiatives to reduce infant deaths, injuries, youth suicide, teenage pregnancies and alcohol consumption.

PHA director Gay Keating says community groups, doctors and concerned individuals have been alarmed about the increase in the number of children being admitted to hospital with preventable conditions.

"This report from the United Nations is a wake up call to the groups within New Zealand that do not believe we have a problem."

Dr Keating says the Committee on the Rights of the Child is made up of 18 international experts and has heard evidence from the New Zealand government and non governmental organisations.

She says the challenge is for the New Zealand Government to take a hard look at the constructive suggestions raised in the report and to address widespread concerns about poverty and inadequate housing in the community.

A full copy of the United Nations report can be found at: http://www.acya.org.nz/

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