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Triumph For Child Protection - Unicef

PRESS RELEASE

EMABARGOED UNTIL 11am Sunday 2 March

“Children’s Day 2008 gives us a very special reason to celebrate and congratulate our Parliament on its courageous stand in support of children.

All children in New Zealand now have legal protection against assault….and that is a triumph for child protection” said Dennis McKinlay, Executive Director of UNICEF New Zealand.

“UNICEF is concerned with the wellbeing of children around the world and it is very satisfying that New Zealand continues to be a world leader in providing universal rights to all its citizens”

Mr McKinlay was referring to last year’s amendment of Section 59 of the Crimes Act that protects children from assault at the hands of any person and endorsed the comments of Murray Edridge, Chief Executive of Barnados made at a Children’s Day gathering in Wellington, that the law needs to be given a chance and that a formal review in 2009 will properly test its impact.

“Our children deserve the consideration of carefully evaluated information” said Mr McKinlay.

“It is very pleasing that we can again think about New Zealand being a great place for children and can concentrate on helping parents to apply effective, constructive discipline.

“Children’s Day is a celebration of children and what they mean to their families. There is no doubt that they deserve the very best start in life and if any country can do that – we can” said Mr McKinlay.

ends

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