Convention on the Rights of the Child

Emphasis on investment in children as ‘future workers’ or ‘human capital’ comes at the risk of ignoring that children have rights on their own account.  The New Zealand government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1993.  Under Article 27 of this Convention, signatory states recognise that every child has a right to an adequate standard of living – which includes nutrition – and that the state has a role in implementing this right through the provision of material assistance to those in need.[1]  Irrespective of cause or effect, we therefore have a collective responsibility to ensure that all children have their most basic needs met as possessors of intrinsic rights in the present.

[1] United Nations, Convention on the Rights of the Child (Geneva: United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 1989).