Spokesperson for Children
5 December 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Report slams Government inaction on protecting our kids
The Government has to stop making excuses about its failure to address child poverty and actually start doing something to remedy it, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.
Kids Missing Out, a Unicef report released today, criticises the government for not making children a priority and points out that in some instances law changes have stripped children of rights rather than increased protection.
“Some 20 years after New Zealand ratified the UN Convention of Rights of the Child – which ensures every child has a healthy, happy childhood – and despite a wealth of data showing child poverty is detrimental to the health and wellbeing of our kids, there are still one in five Kiwi kids living in poverty.
“The report also notes that the Vulnerable Children’s Bill currently before Parliament flies in the face of international wisdom by not lifting the age of CYFs responsibility. That means any child under state care is thrown out into the cold once they turn 17.
“Unicef also argues the Government’s action plan for vulnerable children doesn’t go far enough and should be extended to all children.
“Labour agrees. Every child living in New Zealand deserves to be treated equally. Our kids should be a priority and we will make them a priority by establishing a Children’s Ministry and a Children’s Minister.”