GOVERNMENT

NZ ratifies treaties on rights of child, peacekeeping

Wednesday 21 September 2011, 5:30PM
By Simon Power
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New Zealand has ratified two treaties at the United Nations – one criminalises serious violation of children's rights, the other criminalises attacks on UN peace-builders.

Justice Minister Simon Power deposited New Zealand's instruments of ratification today.

The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography emphasises criminalising these serious violations of children's rights, and stresses the need for international cooperation to combat these violations and for public awareness campaigns. It was adopted in 2000.

Mr Power said New Zealand joins 157 other countries that have ratified the Optional Protocol.

The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel was adopted in 2005. The parent 1994 Convention criminalises attacks against UN peacekeeping personnel.

This protocol expands the Convention's coverage to protect personnel engaged in peace-building and conflict prevention.

Mr Power said New Zealand played a key role in the negotiations for the 1994 Convention following our experience on the UN Security Council in 1993-94, and in the negotiations for the Optional Protocol. New Zealand joins 25 other countries which have ratified the Optional Protocol.