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Royal Commission Report Shows Need For Closure Of Large Residences

The devastating interim report of the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care reinforces the call for the phased closure of New Zealand’s large care and protection residences, and the eventual abolition of the four youth justice detention centres, Assistant Māori Commissioner for Children Glenis Philip-Barbara says.
“The scale of hurt inflicted on children and other people in the care of organisations who were supposed to be looking after them is shocking, but may still understate the full extent of the harm,” Assistant Commissioner Philip Barbara says.
“Māori, in particular, are more likely to be abused in state care and suffer from racism and discrimination at every step of the care process. This is why we have called for a Māori-led response to child protection.
“It’d be a mistake to think that what happened in the past is not still happening today. As the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, our focus is on pushing for the changes needed to prevent further harm to more children.
“These solutions must include ways to better support families, whānau, hapū iwi and communities so children and young people can stay where they belong – with whānau – without the need for institutional care or detention.
“Large residential institutions risk causing more harm to children than good. The four Care and Protection residences need to be closed as quickly as possible and the large youth justice centres eventually abolished.
“The interim report also shows the need for a truly independent monitoring system, where children and young people feel safe to disclose abuse.
“Children in large state residences, which we monitor, tell us that it is too hard or they don’t feel safe to make complaints now, so often they simply don’t.
“These tragedies, and our own work show that children and young people need to feel safe to speak up and that when they do, know that someone is really listening and will do something about what they say,” Assistant Commissioner Philip-Barbara says.

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