The release of the draft legislation to reduce child poverty reduction has been described as a watershed moment for children and young people in Aotearoa NZ by ACYA’s Chairperson, Andrea Jamison. “Significantly it requires governments to develop a dedicated strategy to enhance and promote the wellbeing of all children”. The collective advocacy by many, including Dr Russell Wills the previous Children’s Commissioner, and our current Commissioner, Judge Andrew Becroft, lend significant weight to the benefits of a cross party agreement. ACYA has consistently argued for the need to plan for a long-term, sustained approach to reducing child poverty and enhancing living standards for all children. “The Bill reflects widespread collective support for initiatives that promote the rights and wellbeing of all children” says Andrea, "we have never been in a better position to create a society in which all children can thrive".
Read ACYA’s press release here.
Read the draft Bill here.
Read the OCC report on Solutions to Child Poverty here.
Putting children at the heart of decision-making: Budget Policy Statement 2017
ACYA took the opportunity to submit to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee on the Government’s Budget Policy Statement and draw attention to the priority recommendations made by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in their last report on Aotearoa NZ. Our key messages were that:
The Budget Policy Priorities are consistent with ACYA’s overarching recommendation to implement and embed UNCROC to protect and promote the wellbeing and inherent dignity of all children. This means:
- Making sure children are consulted with and listened to in policy and budgetary decision-making. (An example of this is evident in the Oranga Tamariki changes where children’s views were taken into account throughout. Ministry of Education is now considering setting up a children and young people’s reference group);
- Having consistent and complete data about children so we know and understand the issue to ensure that policy responses and public spending are effective;
- Greater cohesion and co-ordination between legislation, policy and practice as well as across sectors and agencies;
- Having universal and proportionally targeted responses so all children’s needs are met.
Read the ACYA Submission Oral notes here.
Children’s sector meeting: Working together
The next Children’s sector meeting will take place on 27th February in Wellington. The focus will be on collaboration with a view to maximising our effectiveness. A brief report will follow in next month’s website note.
These meetings are part of ACYA’s strategy for 2018 where we plan to focus on engagement with our partners and build relationships with organisations who have an interest in children’s wellbeing.
Taking our issues to the world stage
This month, ACYA and CPAG are writing a joint submission on the International Covenant of Cultural, Economic and Social Rights (ICESCR). We will post our submission on the ICESCR once it has been approved by the Steering Committee. The submission is due on 5th February 2018.
The ICESCR can be found here.
The NZ Government Report and information about the reporting process can be found here.
If you want to contribute this submission, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org urgently.
Later this year, ACYA will be participating in the Universal Periodic Review.