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Barnardos marks 30 years of children’s rights with picnic

Today on Universal Children’s Day, Barnardos is marking the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the international law setting out the rights that all children have. It is an essential tool, making clear what governments and others should do to help children live good lives.

“Barnardos’ vision is an Aotearoa where every child shines bright. Children having their rights respected, protected, and upheld is a crucial part of achieving this vision,” says Dr Claire Achmad, Barnardos General Manager Advocacy. “In our 50th year of incorporation in Aotearoa, we reflect on both the positive impact we’ve had on thousands of children and their families and whānau in the last half century, and our ongoing work to ensure every child’s rights and needs are protected and fulfilled. We still have a long way to go to realise the promise of the Children’s Convention in practice in Aotearoa. Every one of us has a part to play in making children’s rights real, so that every child can develop to reach their full potential” she says.

Barnardos is one of 29 organisations across New Zealand that is calling for the Government to pledge its recommitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Convention. In keeping with this kaupapa, to mark this significant milestone for children and children’s rights, today Barnardos has also joined with the Children’s Rights Alliance Aotearoa, the World Organization for Early Childhood Education, and Save the Children New Zealand to hold a children’s picnic at Parliament, hosted by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

In addition to honouring Universal Children’s Day and the 30th anniversary of the Children’s Convention, the children’s picnic will also celebrate the opening of a new playground in Parliament grounds. All children have the right to play; and safe, supported play is one of the best ways to positively impact a child’s cognitive, social and emotional development. Barnardos and the other organisations hosting today’s Children’s Picnic are welcoming the chance for children in their early years to be the first to experience the new playground.

Children from Barnardos Early Learning will be among the children attending today’s picnic. Our Barnardos Early Learning philosophy focuses on ensuring that children are connected to the unique natural world around them in Aotearoa, and developing a love of learning, including through their natural curiosity and through play.

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