GENEVA (7 September 2016) – Children’s rights in New Zealand will be reviewed by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on 15 and 16 September in sessions that will be webcast live. New Zealand is one of the 196 States that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and so is required to be reviewed regularly by the Committee of 18 independent experts.
In addition, members will examine New Zealand’s implementation of the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (OPSC).
Among the possible issues to be raised during the discussion between the Committee and a delegation from the New Zealand government are:
- Recent creation of the Ministry for vulnerable children;
- Continuing absence of a child rights impact assessment on budget allocations and other policy measures, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the allocation of social benefits;
- Increased occurrence of child marriages, in particular among girls;
- Persistent discrimination against Maori and Pasifika children in particular in accessing education and health services, living in poverty and sub-standard accommodation and being subjected to juvenile justice;
- High levels of child abuse and neglect, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse, and measures to promote accountability and provide assistance to child victims;
- Unsettling high levels of children living in poverty and in poor quality housing;
- Use by Courts of Military Activity Camps as an alternative to juvenile detention;
- Implementation of the Optional Protocol on Children and Armed Conflict.