Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Young NZers call for parties to act on children's rights

UNICEF NZ (UN Children’s Fund)

Media Release

14 July 2014

Young New Zealanders call for political parties to take action on children’s rights

Fifty young people (aged 15-18 years) who attended the UNICEF NZ Youth Congress in Christchurch at the weekend, have called on political parties to address six priority issues including youth unemployment, poverty and mental health.

The theme of this year’s congress was ‘Shape Your World’, with delegates learning about ways to participate in their communities and in politics to create the world they want. The Congress developed a short political communiqué (included below) for political parties and presented it to the MP for Christchurch Central, Hon Nicky Wagner and the MP for Wigram, Megan Woods. The recommendations identified by the young people are:

1. Create and support avenues for effective child and youth participation in decision-making (Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child)

2. Implement child rights education as an integral strand in the school curriculum

3. Ensure adequate funding for schools and encourage the development of schools as focal points or community hubs

4. Take immediate action to build the mental health of young New Zealanders

5. Create a more equal society and improve the standard of living of children and families living in poverty

6. Youth unemployment as an issue requiring priority action

UNICEF NZ National Advocacy manager, Deborah Morris-Travers said, “When the young people started talking about the issues that matter to them there was a high level of consensus about priorities for action. They understand that all New Zealanders have a responsibility to take positive action for children but also identified the need for bold political leadership to ensure equitable investment in children and youth.”

The communiqué acknowledges current Government and community efforts to improve the lives of children and youth, but reminds the Government of its responsibility to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and challenges all political parties to do more for children and youth.

The Congress identified youth unemployment as an urgent priority and expressed support for continuing education. Many of the delegates are in their final years of school, or at university, and they are concerned that young people are disproportionately affected by unemployment.

“It was also clear from the discussions that delegates are concerned about the large proportion of Kiwi kids who are living in poverty, going without the basic things needed for health and education. They called for more equality and a standard of living that enables every child to participate in our society and economy.

“Another big concern for delegates was youth mental health. The Congress called for immediate action to build and support the mental health of young New Zealanders by ensuring the best possible childhoods and acknowledging children and youth as valued members of our society. The delegates talked about the need for good quality mental health services and the need for professionals to be well trained to respond to trauma in children and youth,” Ms Morris-Travers added.

Other recommendations referred to the need for better child and youth participation in decision-making; child rights and citizenship education; and for schools to serve as community hubs in the provision of health and other social services.

“UNICEF NZ is sending the communiqué to all political parties today, requesting a formal response so that we can share the parties’ responses with the youth delegates. We hope all parties will hear what these young people have to say and incorporate those views into their policy,” concluded Ms Morris-Travers.

#ShapeYourWorld

-ends-

Notes to editors

17 year old Brad Olsen, a UNICEF NZ Youth Ambassador, is available to speak with media via Laura Gibbons at UNICEF NZ (contact details below).


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news