OUR COMMITMENT TO THE RIGHTS
We support youth and families to live sustainable lives. All children in New Zealand and worldwide have a right to life, good health, education, a safe home, participation in decision-making and freedom and protection from abuse, violence and exploitation.
Our work is guided by international human rights groups and frameworks, such as UNICEF, the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Declaration of the Rights of the Child is a series of related children’s rights proclamations, the first of which was drafted in 1923 by Eglantyne Jebb, the British social reformer and inspirational founder of the Save the Children organization in response to World War I and its devastating effects on children.
Her document which asserted the rights of children and the duty of the international community to put children’s rights in the forefront of planning was presented to the International Union in Geneva on February 23, 1923 and endorsed by the League of Nations General Assembly on November 26, 1924 as the World Child Welfare Charter. The 1923 document consisted of the following conditions:
- The child must be given the means requisite for its normal development, both materially and spiritually.
- The child that is hungry must be fed, the child that is sick must be nursed, the child that is backward must be helped, the delinquent child must be reclaimed, and the orphan and the waif must be sheltered and succored.
- The child must be the first to receive relief in times of distress.
- The child must be put in a position to earn a livelihood, and must be protected against every form of exploitation.
- The child must be brought in the consciousness that its talents must be devoted to the service of its fellow men.
On November 20, 1959, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a much expanded version of its own Declaration of the Rights of the Child, replacing the original five conditions with ten principles.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is an international convention setting out the civil, social, political, economic and cultural rights of children. Nations that ratify it are bound to it by international law. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention, opened it for signature on November 20,1989 and it came into force on September 2, 1990. As of December 2008, 193 countries have ratified it. New Zealand signed the treaty in 1989 and ratified it in 1993.
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