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Children's picnic celebrates 30 years of child rights

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will join around 80 pre-school children on Wednesday 20 November to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

The joint celebration in Parliament Grounds has been arranged by Save the Children NZ, Barnardos, the Children’s Rights Alliance Aotearoa and OMEP.

Save the Children NZ Chief Executive Heidi Coetzee says, “On the 30th anniversary of the signing of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child we celebrate all children and their right to be included and have safe healthy lives.

“We want to remind the public and political leaders that children have a right to be heard, that they want to speak out and when they engage meaningfully, things change.”

Barnardos Chief Executive Mike Munnelly, says, “Thirty years ago world leaders made a promise to do everything in their power to protect and promote the rights of children. All around the world countries are marking this milestone. However, as we do so in New Zealand, we must not lose sight of the fact that high numbers of children face significant challenges to their rights, including abuse, violence, poverty and poor mental health. Barnardos is working every day, all around the country towards making Aotearoa a place where every child shines bright.”

OMEP Chairperson Lia de Vocht-van Alphen said, “As a country, we are aiming to be the best place for all tamariki and rangitahi atawhai. As part of the anniversary we are asking the Government to re-commit to the Convention to ensure all New Zealand children have their rights respected and upheld in policy and law.”

“By joining forces, we can ensure that all children in New Zealand have access to basic essentials, equal opportunities, and the childhood they deserve.”

Children’s Rights Alliance Aotearoa Chairperson Jennifer Braithwaite agreed with her counterparts saying huge strides have been made in improving the lives of children in Aotearoa New Zealand, however more is needed to honour the commitment which was made.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is a comprehensive human rights treaty that enshrines specific children's rights in international law. It was adopted by the United Nations in 1989 and defines universal principles and standards for the status and treatment of children worldwide.

UNCRC was ratified by New Zealand in 1993. All United Nations member states, except for the United States of America, have ratified the Convention.

The rights are set out in 54 articles that establish human rights standards for the treatment of children and young people and sets out in detail what every child needs to have a safe, happy and fulfilled childhood.

What: Children’s picnic to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

When: 10.30 - 12.30pm Wednesday 20 November 2019
11.30 PM to arrive and the Speaker will open the new playground

Where: Parliament Grounds and playground. If wet, event will be held in the Banquet Hall

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