20 Jan 2011

Questions by UN committee on NZ children's rights

12:03 pm on 20 January 2011

A United Nations committee reviewing New Zealand's approach to children's rights has questioned why there is no dedicated national action plans.

In a session in Geneva on Wednesday, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child discussed the New Zealand Government's latest progress reports on how the conventions the country has signed, are being put into action.

Its New Zealand expert Maria Herczog said that in general she found the majority of children are living well and have their rights respected.

But Ms Herczog said she had serious concerns that New Zealand lacks an overarching child policy, has no national action plan for children's rights or a dedicated children's department.

And the committee noted that despite increases in money spent on children, one-fifth of all children live in income poverty, especially Maori and Pacific children.