Children are citizens with autonomy and rights identified by international agencies and United Nations conventions, but these rights are not readily enforceable. Some of the worst levels of child poverty and poor health in the OECD, as well as exceptionally high child suicide rates, exist in Aotearoa New Zealand today. More than a quarter of children are experiencing a childhood of hardship and deprivation in a context of high levels of inequality. Maori children face particular challenges. In a country that characterizes itself as "a good place to bring up children," this is of major concern. The essays in this book are by leading researchers from several disciplines and focus on all of our children and young people, exploring such topics as the environment (economic, social and natural), social justice, children’s voices and rights, the identity issues they experience and the impact of rapid societal change. What children themselves have to say is insightful and often deeply moving.
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