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Littlies Lobby pushing for children first

Littlies Lobby pushing for children first

Media Release

21 November 2003

Littlies Lobby pushing for children first

A year after it was formed the Littlies Lobby, now with a membership of 330 organisations and individuals, is pushing for politics to be put aside and children be the first consideration.

The Littlies Lobby was formed by the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society and the Office of the Commissioner for Children in December 2002 to draw attention to what parents, families, communities and central and local government can and should do to give children the chance to thrive.

Plunket's chief executive, Paul Baigent, said the Littlies Lobby totally supported today's call by UNICEF for world leaders to put children at the centre of development agendas.

"While we are pleased with our first year's progress building a base of key organisations involved in the under five sector, we look forward to the day when children are first consideration in any policy decision made in New Zealand.

"This has been a tough year for children in New Zealand, with Child Youth and Family facing stringent criticism. The Littlies Lobby, and its extensive membership, will continue to push for and speak out on behalf of children," said Mr Baigent.

Commissioner for Children, Dr Cindy Kiro, also supported UNICEF's call for children first.

"We need to work with renewed vigour to stop the issues that hinder the development of our children - issues such as violence, poverty and a lack of recognition of their rights.

"Society has forced pressures on everyone, but there is no need for children to suffer. Adults must act for the benefit of children," said Dr Kiro.

The cross party Parliamentary Children's Caucus, also formed in December 2002, has MPs regularly coming together to hear of latest developments involving children. In February 2004, the Swedish Ombudsman for Children, Lena Nyberg, will address the Littlies Lobby.


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