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Budget Is Hit And Miss For Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THURSDAY 19 MAY 2005

Budget Is Hit And Miss For Children, Says Save The Children

Save the Children New Zealand had reserved applause for Finance Minister Michael Cullen today, welcoming the government’s steps toward addressing the best interests of children, but declaring further action was needed to honour New Zealand’s obligation to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Save the Children New Zealand, part of the Every Child Counts coalition, acknowledged the Budget’s investment in services for children who witness violence and the programme for children facing parental separation, as particularly positive initiatives.

Acting Executive Director of Save the Children New Zealand Liz Gibbs said that while both of these provisions recognise the rights of the child, the government must cast its net wider to make a tangible difference for kiwi kids.

“Children must be given maximum priority to ensure their basic rights are met,” she said. “When New Zealand officially adopted the CRC in 1993, the standard was set for the rights of every person in the country under the age of 18.”

“For instance, Article 27 of the CRC states that every child has a right to a standard of living adequate for his or her physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development. Yet child poverty impacts about a third of New Zealand children and the Budget 2005 does little to address this. Our children deserve better.”

“Violence and neglect are the most damaging influences on children’s lives. While the $12 million investment for child advocates in situations of family violence is heart-warming, additional steps to address the wider impact of family violence for children are necessary to uphold Article 19 of the CRC: Protection from Abuse and Neglect.”

“The Government must continue to do all it can to implement the rights of this Convention. Today it made some positive progress.”

ENDS

Save the Children works for:
- a world which respects and values each child
- a world which listens to children and learns
- a world where all children have hope and opportunity.

Save the Children is proud to be part of Every Child Counts, a coalition formed by Barnardos, UNICEF NZ, Save the Children New Zealand , Plunket and the Institute of Public Policy at AUT, which calls on politicians to put children at the centre of public policy. Visit www.everychildcounts.org.nz for further information.

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