ACYA supported the Children’s Commissioner’s call for a cross-party accord to end child poverty. Taking a systematic approach to addressing child poverty, in particular for Māori and Pasifika children, and establishing a national definition of poverty was a priority recommendation of the UN last year, when New Zealand reported on progress under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. ACYA child poverty spokesperson, Dr Amanda D’Souza said “All the evidence tells us that having a good childhood is critical to positive life outcomes … right now, the daily life experiences of children throughout Aotearoa New Zealand are impacting, positively and negatively, on their wellbeing.
Read ACYA’s press release here
Getting it Right: a step in the right direction
Getting it Right, the first report from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Monitoring Group (UMG) marks a new era in realising children’s rights in Aotearoa New Zealand.
For too long, a significant proportion of children in Aotearoa NZ have been denied their rights to the same quality of life as their peers. As ACYA has reported many times, almost 25 years after the Children’s Convention was signed by New Zealand, the lack of understanding, awareness and implementation of the Convention at the highest level has impacted negatively on our children and young people.
ACYA’s most recent civil society, parallel report recommended that Aotearoa NZ implement the Children’s Convention to protect and promote the wellbeing and inherent dignity of all children through policy development, public spending and practices that
- are underpinned by the general principles of non-discrimination, best interests, maximum development and participation
- encourage data collection, research and monitoring of indicators to ensure well-informed decision making
- give effect to the principles of proportionate universalism; and,
- have a clear focus on prevention and equity.
ACYA believes child rights can, and should, underpin and guide Government’s understanding about, and response to the wellbeing and circumstances of all children in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Children’s Convention provides a common framework for discussing, developing and implementing policies aimed at improving outcomes for children. As a permanent member of the UMG, ACYA is fully supportive of the recommendations in Getting it Right.
Listen to Chairperson, Andrea Jamison interview here http://www.95bfm.com/bcast/cross-party-agreement-shock-and-horror
JR McKenzie Trust Oral Report
In early December, 2017 ACYA presented an oral report to the JR McKenzie Trust. Our reporting focus was on ACYA’s role in the UMG, building relationships within the children’s sector, and on how we are implementing our strategic plan. A benefit of the oral reporting process is meeting face-to-face with other recipients of the funding and the networking opportunities that generates. We are grateful to the JR McKenzie Trust for enabling us to undertake our work.
A summary of the key points can be accessed here.
Children’s sector meeting: Working together
As part of building and strengthening relationships within the children’s sector, ACYA and the Child Wellbeing Network hosted a meeting with major NGOs to discuss how we can work together to create and sustain our common interests in children’s rights to a happy, healthy and fulfilling childhood.
This meeting took place in mid-December and was well received. The group will meet again in late February to continue discussions about working together to present a coherent and coordinated approach which maximises our advocacy for children’s wellbeing.
ACYA’s Briefing to incoming ministers (BIM)
Letters and a BIM were sent to the Prime Minister and MPs whose portfolios concerned children and young people. We used this opportunity to introduce ACYA’s purpose and vision, and to propose that this government use children’s rights, based on UNCROC, to ensure a coherent and consistent approach to decision-making affecting children and young people.
We pointed out the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s Concluding Observations on New Zealand and highlighted their concerns that some children, particularly children with disabilities, Māori, Pacific and migrant and refugee children face significant barriers to the full enjoyment of their rights. ACYA recommends that Aotearoa NZ implements and embeds UNCROC to protect and promote the wellbeing and inherent dignity of all children. ACYA calls for:
- a comprehensive plan to implement UNCROC and its’ two optional protocols
- the establishment and resourcing of a permanent mechanism to co-ordinate UNCROC implementation.