A new law designed to improve oversight of the agencies charged with protecting children and young people is making its way through parliament. As it stands, there are serious concerns about how effective it will be once enacted.
的 Oversight of Oranga Tamariki System and Children and Young People’s Commission Bill 2021 is described as providing for independent monitoring and complaints oversight for Oranga Tamariki, 更广泛地倡导儿童和年轻人的问题.
这些都是值得称赞的目标, but of the 403 submissions to the select committee hearing submissions on the bill, 311人反对修改法律. 只有8人赞成，其余人持中立态度.
由于许多原因，该法案提出的修改是有问题的. 一是账单仍然 不包含 the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into domestic legislation. This would mean the convention rights would become part of the law of Aotearoa New Zealand.
One of the clear benefits of this would be that children’s rights – especially their rights to health, housing and food – would be more readily enforceable through the national courts. In other words, it would be easier to hold the government to account for its actions or inaction.
的 question of accountability becomes all the more important because the bill contains major changes to how the rights, 新西兰青年的利益和福祉受到保护.
It proposes the establishment of an Independent Monitor of Oranga Tamariki that will assess how the child welfare agency is supporting children, 年轻人和他们的whānau. 它将取代独立儿童监督员, 2018年成立的独立皇冠实体.
的 new monitor will be a departmental agency within the Ministry of Education. 这一举动 批评 因为他破坏了新监察员的独立性.
的 bill also proposes that the Office of the Ombudsman will be the sole body responsible for investigating and resolving complaints on matters regarding the application of the Oranga Tamariki行为.
This is particularly contentious because so far the 孩子们的专员 has had that role.
的 transfer of investigative powers to the Ombudsman is not the only major change to the 孩子们的专员, 谁的办公室将被儿童和青年委员会取代.
的 new commission will continue to promote and advance the interests and well-being of children and young people, 但它的作用较弱.
特别是，不像 当前的 孩子们的专员, it will not be able to advise on establishing 投诉机制s for children or monitor the types of complaints made.
Stripping the new commission of any powers to deal with complaints has a much wider impact on the application of children’s rights in Aotearoa New Zealand.
If the new commission is not able to advise the multitude of organisations that work with children and young people about how to make a complaint, this will significantly limit the extent to which the government can be held accountable for any failure to protect children’s rights overall.
联合国儿童权利委员会已经采取了行动 表示担忧 在澳门保护儿童权利的制度上.
In 2016, it recommended the 孩子们的专员 be given adequate resources to receive, 调查和处理儿童的投诉. 新成立的委员会似乎是朝着相反的方向迈出的一步.
联合国还建议新西兰致力于 投诉机制 公约, which would allow children to complain to the UN committee about breaches of their rights.
政府 检查 是否会加入投诉机制.
But its level of commitment to the complaints process looks questionable if the new Children and Young People’s Commission, 作为一个负责促进人权的机构, 新西兰儿童的利益和福祉, 不能调查投诉.
All these changes come at a time when young New Zealanders face declining physical and mental health, 教育成就和生活水平, 尽管他们经历的严重贫困和暴力持续存在.
For many young people, these outcomes are exacerbated by multiple forms of discrimination. e世博官方网站能够而且必须做更多的工作.
Incorporation of the Children’s Rights Convention into domestic law would provide children in Aotearoa New Zealand with a clear legal mechanism to uphold their rights.
Even if the government continues with its (widely opposed) plan to give monitoring and investigative powers regarding Oranga Tamariki to the Independent Monitor and the Ombudsman only, it must restore the powers of the Children and Young People’s Commission to scrutinise the government’s effectiveness in protecting the remaining range of children’s rights.