United Nations Children’s Fund Presentation to Human Rights Commission Diversity Forum Monday 22 August 201, Hamilton Barbara Lambourn, National Advocacy Manager, UNICEF NZ
Our Purpose To raise money for: NZ funded projects in Laos, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, PNG and other PI UNICEF International (worldwide projects) emergency events in the developing world (e.g. earthquakes, floods, food crises)
Our Purpose…. To advocate for children within NZ in respect of their rights under UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Our Purpose… To provide educational resources to schools about children in the developing world
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) Adopted by all countries of the world (except USA) Most widely supported human rights treaty in history 42 articles defining universal rights of children (up to 18 years old)
UNCROC in NZ… NZ signed in 1993 Government and NGO’s Report every 5 years (last November 2008). Examination every 5 years Concluding observations (February 2011) UNICEF NZ on UNCROC Advisory Group who contributes to “Shadow” Report by NGOs.
UNCROC Principles… Best Interests of the Child: Non discrimination Protection Participation
UNICEF NZ is informed by… International Research: Innocenti Research Centre State of World’s Children reports UNICEF Data Special reports Conferences, symposia etc. New Zealand Research: Departments NGO’s Academic research
Our domestic advocacy role.. Monitoring the NZ Government’s compliance and progressive implementation of the UNCROC Gathering and providing information commissioning research leading child focussed projects Lobbying MP’s and Departmental officials Working in collaboration with other NGO’s and Commissions
DiversityThe Elephant and the Giraffe One size does not fit all The same rights apply to all children, but how they are implemented and achieved may differ Priorities may differ
Issues for NZ Children Poverty – 200,000+ children in poverty Neglect and abuse – NZ features poorly for child deaths and injuries through maltreatment Youth Justice – myth of “youth crime wave” Children’s participation and voice in matters affecting their wellbeing
The UN Committee concerns Children, general public and people working with and for children were not sufficiently aware of the UNCROC and the rights it preserves. They made strong recommendations to NZ Government that they make the provisions of the Convention more widely known.
Concerns continued… children not enjoying their rights – poverty “staggering” rate of child morbidity children in Maori and Pacific populations most at risk of poor outcomes disparities and widening inequality of opportunity limit chances for many children. “continuing manifestations of discrimination against the Maori population” UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Observation 24
Recommendation.. “Preventative activities against discrimination and, if necessary, taking affirmative action for the benefit of children in vulnerable situations…. such as Maori and Pacific, refugee, migrant, children with disabilities, lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender children and children living with people from these groups” (Recommendation 25 (b))
Race Relations priorities… Priority 1 Protecting children who are vulnerable to abuse and ensuring that all children enjoy freedom from poverty Priority 4 Reducing the number of people in our prisons (and the disproportionate number of them who are Maori)
Opportunities… Green Paper November election Co-ordination of sector activities
1000 days to get it right for children Every Child Counts First 1000 days of life to determine outcomes Cost of poor outcomes – approx 6 Billion (3% gdp) NZ investment in children is low and ineffective Other countries get a better return on investment Deprivation in early life is the primary risk for poor outcomes Solutions require long term action plans.
Working together for a common vision…. Let the elephant fell the trees Let the bushpig dig the holes Let the mason wasp fill in the walls Let the giraffe put up the roof Then we will have a house.