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New Zealand: more needed to address poverty for disabled children


NZ Disability Rights Commissioner, Paula Tesoriero, calls for action to address inequities for children with disability.

The New Zealand government has released its annual Child Poverty related Indicators Report, and the Annual Report of its Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy.

Following the release of the reports, the New Zealand Disability Rights Commissioner welcomed the increasing recognition of how systemically disadvantaged disabled children and young people are, but says recognition is just the first step.

"I look forward to seeing these gaps being addressed," said Paula Tesoriero.

The reports echo the recent release of child poverty statistics for households with disabled people.

"Those statistics show "disabled children and children living in households where someone is disabled are more likely to be in poverty according to the nine child poverty measures," said Ms Tesoriero.

"One in five disabled children lives in material hardship according to these statistics – this is double the rate for non-disabled children".

Ms Tesoriero says the report confirms disabled children experienced lower material wellbeing and housing quality than non-disabled children.

"I am hoping to see investments in next week's Budget that address inequity for disabled children".

One meaningful way to assist disabled children in poverty is to significantly increase the child disability allowance which disabled people and their families have been calling for, she said.

Date: 13 May 2021

Source: New Zealand Human Rights Commission

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  1. New Zealand Human Rights Commission