New Zealand's first Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy will set the direction for how to improve the wellbeing of children and young people.
The Child Poverty Reduction legislation, which was passed into law in December 2018, encourages a Government focus on child poverty reduction specifically, and child wellbeing more generally.
A key requirement of the legislation is the creation of New Zealand's first Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. The Strategy will provide a framework to drive government policy and action on child wellbeing. It will commit Government to set and report on outcomes and actions to improve the wellbeing of all children and young people, with a particular focus on:
- children with greater needs
- child poverty and socioeconomic disadvantage
- children of interest or concern to Oranga Tamariki.
The Strategy will set out the desired outcomes and how these can be measured. It will also outline what policies it has implemented or plans to implement and the likely effect of these – for example policies to reduce child poverty.
The Strategy is intended to give a practical commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi. It must be developed after consultation with children and with representatives of Māori. Annual reports to Parliament on the Strategy must include analysis of outcomes for Māori children.
The Strategy is also intended to help New Zealand meet its international obligations relating to children, including those in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The first Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy will be published in 2019.
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