Too Many Children In Aotearoa New Zealand Do Not Have Their Housing Needs Met

Every child has the right to live in an affordable and healthy home. But the lack of social and affordable housing is impacting children’s rights, such as their right to a decent standard of living, their right to be safe and protected or their right to an education.

We are extremely concerned that too many children in Aotearoa New Zealand do not have their basic rights met and are asking politicians to urgently prioritise investment in housing. 

When children live in temporary accommodation such as motels and cars, it can also impact on their ability to attend school regularly and contributes to rising truancy rates. Temporary accommodation also has incidents of crime and violence. This is an unsafe and unacceptable situation for children and their families, and it must be addressed.

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Lack of safe and secure home affects all areas of a child's life, even into their future. Successive Governments have failed to prioritise New Zealand's need for public housing. Housing remains a key priority for Government invesmtent as recent gains have not been enough to meet the demand.

What Is The Issue?  

Give Young Children Growing Up In Slum Brothels A Chance For A Better Future.

Bangladesh’s largest slum brothel - just one of many in the region - is the size of a small city and houses over 1,500 women and 1,000 children. 

These women and children live largely out of sight from mainstream society - facing exclusion from education, life-saving healthcare, and their communities. Needing to provide for their children, mothers who were likely sold or trafficked into the brothel to start with, find themselves unable to leave and forced to work to pay off debts.

Children live with their mothers in rooms smaller than most one-car garages. When their mothers bring their customers home, they hide under beds while their mothers are working or they are pushed into the alleyway to play. Customers will use them to run errands, like fetching alcohol or drugs, and in some cases, they are tasked with cleaning up after customers have left. Some will be groomed to be the future of the business like their mothers and grandmothers.  

How Your Signature Will Make A Difference

Sign the pledge to urge political leaders to prioritise affordable and healthy housing in New Zealand.

Price Hikes Push Food Out Of Reach For Millions Of Children

Millions of children in Afghanistan could be pushed into severe hunger as a result of rising food prices, drought and displacement, Save the Children warned, after the UN reported the cost of wheat, rice, sugar and cooking oil has increased by more than 50% compared with pre-COVID-19 prices. 

A survey of 630 newly displaced families in Kabul, carried out by Save the Children earlier this month, already found that all of the families had run up debts in order to buy food. Many families have been forced to sell their possessions, cut back on meals or send their children out to work in order to buy food. 

Save the Children warned that people's ability to buy food is likely to be further limited by the lack of operating banks and ATMS, which prevents them from accessing their savings. 

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We are calling on the Government to consult with children before this Bill progresses further.

We can not continue to let these children suffer. 

We call for an end to the cycle of sexual exploitation of children in Bangladesh. 

Your signature can make a difference for children in Aotearoa New Zealand. Pledges like this strongly assist our campaigning efforts and will be used to raise housing issues with political leaders as they plan priority areas for next year's election.

What Are We Asking?

Pressure from people like you is critical - and it works. Save the Children advocates on behalf of children and families in New Zealand and around the world to work toward real change for the lives of children.

What Is The Impact?

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Sign Our Pledge To Help Call On The Government To Increase Quality Affordable Housing

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Afsana’s Story:
Growing Up In Bangladesh’s Largest Brothel

10-year-old Afsana* lives in Bangladesh’s largest brothel.

She’s tired because her mother Tuli*, a sex worker, entertains clients in the next room while she and her six-year-old brother try to sleep. Drunken men and women roam the dirty alleyways all night looking for drugs and alcohol, which are readily available in the brothel’s lanes. 

But just a few hundred metres down the train tracks is another world – the primary school where Afsana gets to be a child again. 

Save the Children and a local partner organisation founded the school for children from the brothel in 1997. At that time, local schools wouldn’t accept the children of sex workers, meaning girls like Afsana were left uneducated and vulnerable to following their mothers into sex work.

We need to ensure that there are educational programmes and healthcare support available to help every last child find their way out - and give them an opportunity for a better future for themselves and their families. 

This is why we need your signature to help us in our efforts as we work towards providing them with: 

Access to education

Access to healthcare and counselling

Assistance with re-integrating them into their community

With your support and alongside our partners, you can protect children and save girls in Bangladesh from a future in sex slavery. 

Take action today and pledge to give children from a chance to an education and a life free from sex slavery. 

Click the button below to sign the petition today!  

How To HelpBrink Of FamineAbout UsSign The PledgeAbout The Issue

Athena Rayburn, Director of Advocacy and Campaigns at Save the Children Afghanistan, said:

"The spike in prices will push food out of reach for many families, particularly those who have been displaced from their homes and are living on next to nothing. Conflict, drought and COVID-19 have already pushed millions of children into hunger and misery in Afghanistan - now they could be pushed even closer to the brink of famine."

Join the movement and take a stand for children in Afghanistan by giving them a new chance at life and break the cycle of poverty.

Every day Afsana goes to school, works hard and dreams of the day she and her mother can leave the brothel. Afsana is the second-best student in grade three and hopes to be a doctor when she grows up. “I want to be a doctor so that I can help my family if anything happens to them,” she says. But that dream will never become a reality without an education and the school Afsana attends is the place where children can get one. 

Join the movement and take a stand for children in slum brothels by giving them a new chance at life through education and break the cycle of poverty.

*Names have been changed to protect identities.

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Our target: 6,000

3,519 signatures added so far

Sign the pledge to urge the New Zealand Government to increase affordable housing.

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The housing crisis is also impacting on children’s health. In New Zealand, around 30,000 children are hospitalised every year due to preventable housing-related illnesses such as rheumatic fever. The Ministry of Health has found that children admitted to hospital from housing related diseases are 3 times more likely to die in the next ten years than their peers.

This is why we need your pledge of support to help us raise these issues with politicians ahead of their election promises.

We are calling on the Government to increase the availability of quality affordable housing in four ways:

    Greater Government investment in social housing

    Affordable solutions to reduce the need for emergency housing

    Wider implementation of Healthy Homes standards

    Creating a national housing plan with a stated goal that every child lives in a healthy and affordable home

Our Advocacy Work In New Zealand

As a leading child rights organisation, speaking out when children’s basic rights are not being met here and around the globe is a key part of what we do. Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, this means advocating on behalf of children and families to try to influence greater investment in social housing, affordable solutions to reduce the need for emergency housing and wider implementation of Healthy Homes standards.

For many years we have called for improved housing for children. We fully supported the introduction of healthy home’s standards, a commitment by the Government to build more transitional and social houses as well as increased focused on ending homelessness.

But more needs to be done. We still have children living in cars and motels, children living in homes that are making them sick. We are calling on the Government to increase the availability of quality affordable housing.

Our Advocacy Work

3,500 have signed. Let's get to 4,000!