6 October 2003 - MEDIA RELEASE
For immediate use
It’s time for action, says Barnardos
Barnardos says it’s time the Government takes action to stop child abuse in New Zealand.
This call comes after the United Nations joined the huge number of people and organisations in rebuking the Government
over its record on child abuse.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has expressed deep concerns over Section 59 of the Crimes Act, which allows
New Zealand parents to use “reasonable force” against their children.
“Thousands of people, organisations, and even the Prime Minister have given backing to the removal of the law, which
protects the worst abusers of children,” says Murray Edridge, Director, Organisational Development.
“Why do we have to until next year for the Government to take its first steps in combating the problem? The time is now
to put those words into action, and begin the education campaign to teach parents there is an alternative to violence.”
Barnardos has long been calling on the Government to remove this law, as it continues to offer not only a defence, but
an ambiguous legal framework to fight violent and often deadly child abuse.
“It’s appalling that our apparently developed country has the third-worst rates for child deaths through abuse in the
entire world, and we are calling on the Government to help once again make New Zealand a safe place to raise children,”
“All we are asking is for the Government to get a move on, and help create a change in the law to protect the victims,
not the assailants.
“This is a great chance for the Government to actually do something about child abuse, and stop us being an example to
the world of how not to raise our kids,” says Murray.