We may bash our kids to a pulp, but we don’t deserve this

Rodney Hide piles into the scrum against the ridiculous stance child advocate Judge Becroft took earlier this week.

Judge Andrew Becroft calls it a “wake-up call”. Professor Bronwyn Hayward calls it “bonkers”. What to make of our global ranking on children’s rights as 158th out of 165 countries?

It’s a hard call between a judge and a professor.

It certainly sounds bad. In the KidsRights Index we rank below Cuba (20), Venezuela (71), Bangladesh (87), Iran (100), Iraq (148), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (153), Ethiopia (137).

We are just above Chad (161) and Afghanistan (164).

We can’t be that bad, surely? Countries plagued by tyranny, poverty, war, pestilence and starvation ranked better than us.

The data was compiled under five “domains”. When I sorted it according to the individual domains rather than their average, a different picture emerged.

Rodney should not have wasted his time.  

Sorting on the “life” domain (under five mortality and life expectancy), took New Zealand to 17th. On the “health” domain we ranked 36. On “education” 27. On “protection” 35. These rankings aren’t bad and the differences among the top countries very small.

But when I sorted the data according to “enabling environment for child rights” we ranked 162 out of 165 countries. It’s the “enabling environment” that did for us.

We are also actually not 162. Because richer countries are supposed to do better than poorer countries our “enabling” achievements are weighted down. We are punished in this domain by virtue of being well-off.

As I mentioned at the time, children have no rights.  Parents have responsibilities.  And the continuous attempt by the liberal governments in the world to replace parents with government has to be resisted at all cost.

So a low ranking on “enabling environment for child rights” actually is a badge of honour.

Further, the assessment on the “enabling environment” is qualitative, not quantitative. It’s opinion, not fact.

The domain also includes contentious policy: “The extent to which a country has operationalised the general principle of respect for the views of the child. When adults are making decisions that affect children, children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinions taken into account.”

Do we really want to decide, say, the New Zealand curriculum on what primary school children think? Or whether they should have to go to school?

In our household our children don’t count for much when it comes to what they do. If their opinions counted, it would be TV and ice cream all day, every day.


– Rodney Hide, NZ Herald

Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.