Child Poverty in New Zealand: A Contravention of Articles 6 and 27 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child 1989
Henaghan, Mark; Ballantyne, Ruth
This article analyses New Zealand’s child poverty epidemic and examines how impoverished living conditions negatively impact on a child’s right to life, survival, and development in contravention of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 (the “CRC”). Focusing on articles 6 and 27 of the CRC, the article considers the difficulties in defining child poverty and the damaging immediate and long-term consequences of child poverty for children and New Zealand society as a whole. The article proposes the implementation of targeted child poverty reduction and/or prevention legislation, such as a was enacted in 2010 in the UK and Wales, to directly improve the plight of children and their families living in poverty in practicable and sustainable ways, supported by clear governmental accountability measures. To that end, the articles analyses the recently proposed Child Poverty Reduction and Eradication Bill and examines how this legislation, if enacted, could make a significant difference in the fight against child poverty. The article also reflects upon the missed opportunity to assist children living in impoverished conditions to better reach their academic potential as a result of the disappointing rejection of the proposed Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) and Education (Food in Schools) Amendment Bills. The article concludes with an examination of the recently enacted Vulnerable Children Act 2014 and how the Act may indirectly help to reduce the number of children living in poverty in New Zealand.
Rights Statement: (2015) 26 Stell LR 380, © Juta & Co.
Keywords: New Zealand Law; Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989; Child Poverty
Research Type: Journal Article