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Scoring C- for child poverty and D for children at risk

20 February 2012: News from CPAG
Scoring C- for child poverty and D for children at risk is NOT good enough

CPAG endorses the call in the Salvation Army’s State of the Nation Report, The Growing Divide, to make children a higher priority.

The report gives New Zealand a C- for its efforts to deal with child poverty: 1 in 6 Pākehā, 1 in 4 Pacific, and 1 in 3 Māori children are now likely to live in relative poverty.

It gives a D for children and risk, and a C+ for children and violence: the report documents a massive increase in reported violence and neglect of children in the last year.

The connection between high rates of abuse and neglect and high rates of material hardship must be acknowledged.

We are in breach of our obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. For example: the right to the protection and care necessary for the child’s well-being (Article 3); the right to benefit from social security, including social insurance, (Article 26); the right to a standard of living adequate for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development, and the duty of the government to assist parents and others responsible for the child to implement this right (Article 27).

Past policy has concentrated the nation’s wealth and influence in the hands of a privileged few, reducing the wealth and well-being of the majority.

Yet poverty increases the risk of children suffering abuse, neglect, ill-health, and being unable to access educational opportunities.

Green and White Papers are an attempt to raise public awareness. But we already know the problems, and we know the cure: address child poverty on all fronts: housing, health, education, and family income.

This Media Release is issued by Child Poverty Action Group Inc Aotearoa

See the Salvation Army’s State of the Nation Report, The Growing Divide: http://www.salvationarmy.org.nz/research-media/social-policy-and-parliamentary-unit/state-of-nation-reports/the-growing-divide/

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