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

 

CPAG: Government Spends Over $100K Pursuing Beneficiary

For the past fifteen years, Kathryn, now in her fifties and living alone with chronic ill health on a benefit, has been challenging the decision by the MSD that she has to pay back $117,000. She has no assets or savings and cannot afford to pay for fresh food or therapy that would improve her health. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: National’s Cuts Shave $100K Off KiwiSaver By Retirement

New analysis shows National’s constant cuts to KiwiSaver will reduce the average worker’s retirement savings by $100,000 over their working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says... Since coming to office it has made five separate cuts to the scheme." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: Transport Operators Switch From SuperGold To AT HOP Cards

Seniors using Auckland’s public transport will need to use their AT HOP cards from today but Auckland Transport has requested its operators to show understanding for those customers yet to complete the switch from SuperGold cards. More>>

ALSO:

Crime Stats: Burglary Up 11.9%

“While burglary rates are still below that of recent years, there has been an increase of more than 10 per cent over the past 12 months, which is of concern to Police and something we are determined to tackle,” says Police Commissioner Mike Bush. More>>

ALSO:

Help: Lifeline Aotearoa Fighting For Survival

Lifeline Aotearoa has announced it only has enough money to run for one more year. By 30 June 2017, all available sustainability reserves and funds from a new mortgage on its Auckland property will be exhausted. More>>

ALSO:

Overseas Investment: Auditor-General To Examine OIO

The Auditor-General is to examine how the Overseas Investment Office collects and manages information following a request from the parliament's finance and expenditure committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English Living In Denial

The working poor have been a direct byproduct of the economic policies in vogue for the past 30 years or more, all over the Western world... That anger was evident in the Brexit vote, and it underlies the support for Donald Trump in the United States. More>>

ALSO:

Final Reading Of Parental Leave Bill: Families With New Babies Victims Of Veto

“For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because the National Government has used its veto – an extreme measure against families,” says the Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Sue Moroney. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news