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Reporting - United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Reporting requirements

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (the Children’s Convention) is a document that gives children and young people rights. Rights are things every child should have so that they can be the best they can be. This includes things like food, a home, safety, and getting help at school.

The Children’s Convention applies to everyone under 18 years old. It does not matter who they are, what they look like, their gender, sexual orientation, culture or religion, if they are rich or poor, what language they speak or if they have a disability.

The Government is responsible for making sure children’s rights are met.

Every five years, New Zealand reports to the United Nations about what they are doing to make sure children’s rights are met. The last time New Zealand reported to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) was May 2015 in its fifth periodic report.

What does the Sixth Report say?

The Report is a draft of the Government’s answers to questions in the List of Issues Prior to Reporting (LOIPR) asked by the Committee. The Report is subject to a strict word limit of 21,200 words. An overview of the LOIPR can be read here [link to overview document]. If you are planning to read the full Draft Report, we recommend you read the Overview Document alongside it.

The Draft Report describes the actions the Government has taken in various areas to implement the Children’s Convention. The Draft Report looks at how the Government helps maintain children and young people’s wellbeing. It sets out the efforts of government to protect the rights of children to identity, including tamariki and rangatahi Māori. It shows all the initiatives and policies the government has been working on since 2016 to better implement the Children’s Convention.

The Committee also asked New Zealand lots of questions about a range of issues, including:

  • implementation of the Children’s Convention in New Zealand
  • new or amended legislation
  • health
  • education
  • youth justice
  • sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography
  • updated data and statistics.

We would like your feedback on how well the Government has responded to the issues raised by the Committee.

Public Consultation on the Draft Sixth Report

As part of the reporting process, the Government releases draft reports for public consultation. Our next report to the United Nations is due on 15 October 2021. Now we want to hear your opinion on what the Government has talked about in the Report and whether it accurately shows our progress under the Children’s Convention since 2016.

This consultation helps to:

  • raise awareness of the Children’s Convention
  • encourage conversations with interest groups about government activity to implement the Children’s Convention progressively and meaningfully
  • identify public and stakeholders’ priorities for children that may inform future Children’s Convention-related work for Government agencies
  • help identify gaps in the report so that it may more accurately reflect the state of children’s rights in New Zealand.

Note that children and non-governmental organisations will also have a chance to comment on New Zealand’s implementation of the Children’s Convention at later stages of the reporting progress (e.g. after this report has been submitted).

You may:

  • answer a survey on New Zealand’s implementation of the Children’s Convention that references the Draft Report, but note you do not have to read the Draft Report to answer questions in the survey
  • submit the survey online
  • provide a response to the Draft Report (in any format) and send it to the Ministry by email to uncroc@msd.govt.nz or posting a hard copy to:
    “Children’s Convention Survey”
    PO Box 1556
    Wellington 6140.

Alternate formats

The draft sixth report for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is available in the following alternate formats:

NZSL formats will be available soon.

To request a braille hard copy, email uncroc@msd.govt.nz

Submissions are welcomed and encouraged from

  • children and young people
  • forums that operate on behalf of children and young people
  • iwi and Māori engagement forums, particularly those that work with tamariki and rangatahi Māori
  • parents
  • interested individuals and experts
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • professionals who work with children.

The opening date for submissions and feedback is Tuesday 20 July 2021.

The closing date for submissions and feedback is Tuesday 31 August 2021.

Personal information and confidentiality

The Ministry of Social Development will hold your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020.

We will accept submissions made in confidence or anonymously. Please clearly indicate if you want your submission to be treated as confidential.

We may be asked to release submissions in accordance with the Official Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 2020. These laws have provisions to protect sensitive information given in confidence, but we can’t guarantee the information can be withheld. However, we will not release individuals’ contact details.