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NZASA calls for govt review of UN Child Rights Convention

NZASA calls for government review of UN Convention On Child Rights

Media reports that New Zealand children of 14 or 15 years of age are now being targeted for contracts by sporting franchises, should prompt New Zealand authorities to review laws preventing the exploitation of children.

Article 32 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the New Zealand Government in 1993, stipulates that a child (being a person aged under 18 years of age), has the right to be protected from work that threatens his or her health, education or development. At the time of ratification, the New Zealand Government stated that existing laws provide adequate protection in respect of Article 32.

The Association notes that the adoption of the United Nations Convention occurred before the professional sports referred to in today’s media reports had seriously begun to actively recruit children for development contracts. Such contracts have the potential to limit a child’s ability to actively pursue sports they may be interested in for the sake of enjoyment, rather than as a career, and also interfere with their secondary school education at a critical age.

A review of the application of Article 32 of the Convention in the context of contracting New Zealand children for the purposes of professional sport, is now necessary to ensure that the education and development of New Zealand children is not jeopardised, and that they are not subject to over-training or other forms of commercial exploitation.

Directives, (for example), such as those made to European Union Member States in 1994, are intended to ensure young people are protected against economic exploitation and against any work likely to harm their safety, health or physical, mental, moral or social development, or to jeopardise their education.

1.https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/provincial/103297494/moneyball-battle-for-footy-talent-getting-younger

2.https://www.justice.govt.nz/justice-sector-policy/constitutional-issues-and-human-rights/human-rights/international-human-rights/crc/

3. Rugby Union became a professional sport in 1996, three years after the Convention was adopted.

4. Council Directive 94/33/EC of 22 June 1994 on the Protection of Young People at Work.


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