August 2003

Community organisations report to UN

In April 2003 Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (ACYA) released its report "Children and Youth in Aotearoa 2003".  ACYA is the coalition that coordinated the non-governmental organisations report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. This comprehensive report provides a very detailed picture of children and young people and the issues affecting them.  It can be read or downloaded from www.acya.org.nz.  Physical punishment is covered in the care and protection section of the summary report and the appendices.

In June 2003 a delegation of ACYA members and a young person met with the Committee in Geneva.  The meeting was confidential but EPOCH New Zealand supporters can be reassured that the Committee members were interested to know where New Zealand has got to on the matter of physical punishment, given that in 1997 the Committee recommended ending physical punishment.  The ACYA report was accompanied by a video produced by children and young people.  This was presented to the UN Committee by one of the young people involved in developing it.  The video will be launched in New Zealand later in the year.

EPOCH New Zealand thanks ACYA and its chairperson, Dr Alison Blaiklock, for the extensive research, consultation and writing that went into this very credible report.  Congratulations ACYA - we know children in New Zealand will benefit in the future from this remarkable piece of work.