New Zealand (CRC 21-10-2016)
The Committee considered the fifth periodic report of New Zealand (CRC/C/NZL/5) at its 2138th and 2139th meetings (see CRC/C/SR.2138 and 2139), held on 15 and 16 September 2016, and adopted the present concluding observations at its 2160th meeting, held on 30 September 2016.
C. General principles (arts. 2, 3, 6 and 12)
- The Committee recalls its previous recommendation (CRC/C/NZL/CO/3-4, para. 25) and recommends that the State party ensure full protection against discrimination on any ground, including by:
(a) Taking urgent measures to address disparities in access to education, health services and a minimum standard of living by Maori and Pasifika children and their families;
(b) Strengthening its measures to combat negative attitudes among the public and other preventive activities against discrimination and, if necessary, taking affirmative action for the benefit of children in vulnerable situations, such as Maori and Pasifika children, children belonging to ethnic minorities, refugee children, migrant children, children with disabilities, lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and intersex children and children living with persons from those groups;
(c) Taking all measures necessary to ensure that all cases of discrimination against children are addressed effectively, including with disciplinary, administrative or — if necessary — penal sanctions.
E. Violence against children (arts. 19, 24 (3), 28 (2), 34, 37 (a) and 39)
- The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Develop awareness-raising campaigns and programmes targeting households, local authorities, religious leaders and judges and prosecutors, on the harmful effects of early marriage on the physical and mental health and well-being of children, especially girls;
(b) Develop and implement a child rights-based health-care protocol for intersex children, setting the procedures and steps to be followed by health teams, ensuring that no one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment during infancy or childhood, guaranteeing the rights of children to bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination and provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support;
(c) Promptly investigate incidents of surgical and other medical treatment of intersex children without informed consent and adopt legal provisions to provide redress to victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation;
(d) Educate and train medical and psychological professionals on the range of biological and physical sexual diversity and on the consequences of unnecessary surgical and other medical interventions on intersex children;
(e) Extend free access to surgical interventions and medical treatment related to their intersex condition to intersex children between the age of 16 and 18.