International Children’s Day
20 November 2019
Children’s Commissioner calls on government to consult with children and young people on International Children’s Day
The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the government to re-prioritise its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (the Children’s Convention) on International Children’s Day.
“30 years ago, the United Nations officially adopted what was then a ground-breaking convention to promote, respect, protect and fulfil the rights of all children,” Commissioner Becroft says.
“New Zealand ratified the Children’s Convention four years later, in 1993. Our Government of the day made a promise to embed those rights in our laws, policies and practices and to report publicly on how it was ensuring all children in New Zealand are safe, healthy and thriving.
“Three decades on, we are able to celebrate some significant changes for children like the recent launch of a Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. But we still have a long way to go to prioritise children’s rights,” he says.
Today is also International Children’s Day, and an ideal time to launch a new pocket edition of the Convention - unique to Aotearoa New Zealand because it includes the full text in both English and te reo Māori. The 30th anniversary edition of the Children’s Convention booklet is available for download from occ.org.nz/publications/resources/uncrc-30th-edition.
“One of the steps towards ensuring children have their rights to things like education, safety and health fulfilled, is for all of us to understand what children’s rights are and how we can put them into action,” Commissioner Becroft says.
The 30th anniversary edition of the Children’s Convention includes the full text in both English and te reo Māori.
“It’s important that the Children’s Convention be understood in the context of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the government takes appropriate measures to ensure tamariki and rangatahi Māori have their individual and collective rights as indigenous children fulfilled.
“This means recognising the importance of hearing the voices of children within the context of their whanau, hapū, iwi and wider family groups,” Commissioner Becroft says.