UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (external link) was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989, and entered into force 2 September 1990. New Zealand ratified the CRC on 6 April 1993.

New Zealand has made and still maintains the following reservations to the CRC:

Nothing in this Convention shall affect the right of the Government of New Zealand to continue to distinguish as it considers appropriate in its law and practice between persons according to the nature of their authority to be in New Zealand including but not limited to their entitlement to benefits and other protections described in the Convention, and the Government of New Zealand reserves the right to interpret and apply the Convention accordingly.

The Government of New Zealand considers that the rights of the child provided for in article 32 (1) are adequately protected by its existing law. It therefore reserves the right not to legislate further or to take additional measures as may be envisaged in article 32 (2).

The Government of New Zealand reserves the right not to apply article 37 (c) in circumstances where the shortage of suitable facilities makes the mixing of juveniles and adults unavoidable; and further reserves the right not to apply article 37 (c) where the interests of other juveniles in an establishment require the removal of a particular juvenile offender or where mixing is considered to be of benefit to the persons concerned.

Optional Protocols

The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPCRCAC) (external link) was adopted by General Assembly resolution A/RES/54/263 of 25 May 2000 and entered into force 12 February 2002. New Zealand ratified the OPCRCAC on 12 November 2001.

The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (OPCRCSC) (external link) was adopted by General Assembly resolution A/RES/54/263 of 25 May 2000 and entered into force on 18 January 2002. New Zealand ratified the OPCRCSC on 20 September 2011.

The Ministry of Social Development (external link)  is responsible for administering the CRC and its Protocols.

Find out more

Read the latest reports relating to New Zealand, produced under the reporting procedure provided for by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Optional Protocol. You can also read reports from previous years. (external link)

Reporting procedure for the core human rights instruments of the United Nations

New Zealand's common core document: 'Human Rights Review 2010' [PDF, 4.7 MB]

Convention on the Rights of the Child (Māori translation) [PDF, 202 KB]

Committee on the Rights of the Child (external link)

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