“If enforced by our Government the recommendations by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child could have a major, positive impact on the lives of thousands of New Zealand children with disabilities,” said Disability Rights Commissioner Paul Gibson.
“We encourage our Government to take a cross-agency approach and to continue working with us so we can see these recommendations become reality.”
The Committee’s recommendations were released over the weekend and included a call for comprehensive measures to develop inclusive education for children with disabilities. The Human Rights Commission along with other partners monitoring the Disability Convention in New Zealand released a report in June calling for the right to inclusive education to be made enforceable with the current review of the Education Act
“The Commission remains concerned about the safety of students with disabilities, particularly relating to the use of seclusion and restraint. The Commission is also aware of serious allegations regarding the use of seclusion and restraint in more than one school,” said Mr Gibson.
“We encourage parents with concerns to contact the Office of the Ombudsman. Depending on the circumstances, parents may also wish to contact the NZ Police.”
The United Nations Committee also called on government to develop a comprehensive strategy to combat abuse and neglect of all our children, with particular focus on Maori and Pasifika children and children with disabilities.