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

 

Do New Zealanders respect children?

Do New Zealanders respect children?

Today’s UNICEF forum “WHO DO WE ADULTS THINK WE ARE?” challenged New Zealand adults to live respect for children instead of just talking about it.

The four speakers, who are listed below, and young people who attended the forum described how New Zealander’s need to change the way they talk and think about Children and young people.

What emerged from the forum was a declaration that New Zealanders generally, and professionals in particular, need to start watching their language. People who care about the wellbeing of children and young people need to start following the feminist example of challenging disrespectful jokes and language that put women down, and start being strong about challenging ways of talking that are disrespectful of children as fellow human beings. Too often children are talked about dismissively as if their value lay in the adults they will become rather than the human beings they are now. The forum challenges adult New Zealanders to listen to themselves and to not just demand respect, but to give it too.

‘Children are often talked about and talked to in ways that are incredibly disrespectful’ says David Kenkel the UNICEF advocacy manager for New Zealand. He went on to add. ‘If you talked about any other group in society in the disparaging and dismissive way that children are so often talked about you’d face serious complaints.’ This is particularly true for teenagers, we demand respect from them but don’t always give respect in the ways we talk to them and about them. Think about what it must be like to be constantly described as a problem in media and conversation and to be viewed with suspicion when you and friends walk down the road just because of your age?’

When asked how to get adults and young people working together more effectively? A young woman of 16 replied succinctly:

‘Stop talking about us and them, we’re all us”

Dr Ian Hassall , New Zealand’s former commissioner for children described how children are loved and cherished in the private spheres of family life but that this attitude and way of talking doesn’t always cross over into the public sphere where too often children are described as if they were troublesome and burdensome. When a phrase like ‘they were no trouble’ is the best praise you can say in public about a child it says something about how the public sphere sees children as needing to be quiet deferential and obedient. Of course they can never conform to these expectations because they are human beings just like the rest of us.

Jo Raymond called for more respect for children from adults generally and across the board in the media citing positive examples of how New Zealand made children’s television is enormously respectful in how it treats children and how dedicated it is to listening to children. On the other hand, she also suggested that some advertising and other aspects of the media can exploit children in very disrespectful ways that disregard their health and wellbeing. She makes a strong call for the repeal of section 59 of the crimes act to improve the status of children in New Zealand.

‘We need to get more skilled at actually listening to young people’ asserted Marama Davidson from the Human rights commission, she went on to add: ‘there are often many barriers that stop young peoples voices being actually heard and acted on. This is particularly true for the young people we most need to listen to, such as those who are having troubles in their lives’

Ian Hyslop an experienced child protection worker asked New Zealander’s to think hard about how often children are used in abusive ways. Ian described how children often experience oppression in many aspects of their lives that are not always apparent to adults. He expressed the view that child abuse is inevitably connected to wider issues of child welfare which are in turn connected to issues of poverty and social disadvantage.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Rampant Pandering To The Farming Vote

What on earth has happened to the political parties n the centre-right? Once upon a time in the US, the party of Lincoln was a respectable political party before it devolved into the cult of Trump. Here at home, the National Parry used to be able to manage and administer the economic orthodoxy in a reasonably competent fashion. Now it can barely do simple addition and subtraction. Something must have gotten into the water, and not simply out on the farm... More>>

 

Winston Peters Speech: The Gathering Storm Clouds: Ihumatao

Frequently around New Zealand you hear people say that politicians are all the same. It’s a convenient way to dismiss any careful investigation of the truth of that statement. New Zealand First since its inception has been committed to ‘one law ... More>>

ALSO:

National Agriculture Policy: Will Restore Farmer Confidence And Pride

A National Government will reduce regulatory burden and give farmers confidence for the future. Leader of the National Party Judith Collins and Agriculture spokesperson David Bennett announced National’s Agriculture policy in Gisborne today. “Agriculture ... More>>

ALSO:

Shaw: Wealth Tax Not A Bottom Line For Green Party But They Will Push For It

Green Party co-leader James Shaw says one of his senior MPs misspoke under pressure when she said a wealth tax was one of the party's bottom lines. More>>

ALSO:

Government: More Border Exceptions For Critical Roles

The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s ... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding ... More>>

ALSO:

Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On

With just over three weeks until the General Election, the release of the first major pre-election opinion poll this week confirmed what was already being reported about this year’s campaign. Although the gap between Labour and National has narrowed ... More>>

Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:

NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels