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


Programme focuses on improving children’s rights

29 October 2004

Five-year work programme focuses on improving children’s rights

A Government action plan to tackle key human rights issues facing New Zealand’s young people has been released today. Coinciding with National Children’s Day this Sunday (31st October), the Ministry of Youth Development (MYD) has released the Government’s work programme on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC), which examines important issues facing children and sets out what it will do about them over the next five years. A summary of the work plan, written for young people, is also being released.

As a party to UNCROC, the Government reports to the United Nations (UN) every five years, outlining what it is doing to improve children’s rights in New Zealand. It last reported in 2003.

MYD Acting General Manager Justine Auton said a five-year plan was sensible as some of the UN recommendations could not be addressed in a single year. “It shows the Government takes these recommendations seriously and will enable us to better plan and monitor children’s rights issues.”

Many government agencies, including the Ministries of Social Development, Justice, Education, and the New Zealand Defence Force are contributing to the work programme. The Government will report back to the UN back on its progress in 2008.

“All New Zealand children should be able to enjoy the human rights guaranteed to them under UNCROC, and this work programme is an important step in making sure they do,” Ms Auton said. “It’s also fitting it has been released in time for Children’s Day, which is about celebrating our children and doing more to treasure and nurture them.”

Overall, New Zealand continues to make good progress towards improving the rights of children. Advances since 2003 include steps towards ceasing age-mixing in prisons, the launch of a parent support strategy, and work to address minimum age inconsistencies in our laws.

New activities include raising awareness of children’s employment rights and identifying ways to monitor children’s participation in work.

The work programme also responds to children’s issues the UN has identified as needing improvement. These include changing section 59 of the Crimes Act, which allows parents to use “reasonable force” to discipline children; and raising the minimum age of criminal prosecution, currently set at 10 years for murder and manslaughter.

In response, the Government has been actively reviewing section 59 and has launched a parent support strategy promoting non-physical discipline of children. It is also working to improve responses to serious offenders under 14 as part of a review of the minimum age of prosecution.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Panic In The Pacific Over China

For years, it has been no secret that China wants closer security and trade ties with the small nations of the Pacific region. All part of Beijing’s self-image as a global superpower. To that end this week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi embarked on an unprecedented 10-day tour of the Pacific, aimed at convincing his Pacific hosts to join a cross-Pacific agreement that would let Beijing provide them with high-level police training and security, shared data co-operation and other joint services ranging from agriculture to tourism...


Covid-19: Second Vaccine Booster For The Most Vulnerable
People who are at high-risk of getting very sick from a COVID-19 infection will soon be eligible to receive a second booster, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>

Crime: Govt Helps Protect Shops From Ram Raids

The Government is providing further support to help Police protect small businesses affected by a spike in ram raids, Minister of Police Poto Williams says... More>>

Government: Investment Boosts Coastal Shipping In Aotearoa
New Zealand is a step closer to a more resilient, competitive, and sustainable coastal shipping sector following the selection of preferred suppliers for new and enhanced coastal shipping services, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>

PM Speech: Harvard University Commencement Speech - Democracy, Disinformation And Kindness

In Te Reo Māori, the language of the indigenous people of New Zealand, I paid tribute to all of the esteemed guests who stand here in this great forest of knowledge. It is a privilege to be here, and I thank you for the honour... More>>

Government: Independent Panel Appointed To Review Electoral Law
Justice Minister Kris Faafoi today announced appointments to the independent panel that will lead a review of New Zealand’s electoral law. “This panel, appointed by an independent panel of experts... More>>

Trade: Prime Minister To Visit United States
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is leading a trade mission to the United States this week as part of the Government’s reconnection strategy to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19... More>>




InfoPages News Channels