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We have failed our disabled children

We have failed our disabled children: time for bold action – Human Rights Commission

The Human Rights Commission has welcomed the independent expert panel’s review of Child Youth and Family and looks forward to working alongside relevant agencies to realise the human rights of New Zealand children with disabilities.

“Vulnerable to abuse, more likely to be in state care and often living in poverty: historically we have failed our disabled children and it is time their voices are heard and answered,” said Disability Rights Commissioner Paul Gibson.

“We welcome the Government’s significant admission that the system is not meeting the needs of our disabled children and that systemic changes must be made.”

“The review is a bold statement and we need to match its findings with action, commitment and collaboration.”

The Commission is pleased to see the repeal of outdated legislation that discriminated unfairly against disabled children, and looks forward to looking more closely at the proposed changes to special education services said Mr Gibson.

“We agree that the needs of disabled New Zealand children will not be met if we do not capture accurate, reliable data to help us understand the scale and nature of their needs,” said Mr Gibson.

“International evidence suggests the majority of young people in youth justice systems have neuro disabilities. We are yet to acknowledge and address this in our country.”

“We welcome a child centred approach to CYF that embodies both a data driven social investment approach and fundamental principles enshrined in the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”


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