How to talk with tamariki about human rights


At Amnesty International, we want to empower people of all ages with the knowledge and confidence to advocate for human rights.

There are about 2.3 billion children in the world - nearly a third of the total human population - and we believe it’s never too early to start talking with tamariki about their rights and the rights of others.

There are heaps of handy guides out there for talking with children and young people about activism, allyship, and human rights. Amnesty International has created a free, introductory online child rights course, featuring interviews with child activists, self-paced learning and ideas for taking action on children’s rights. Across the Ditch, Amnesty International Australia has produced a free anti-racist ally guide, designed for raising rights-respecting, anti-racist families.

For Amnesty supporters in Aotearoa New Zealand, our new campaign to raise the age of criminal responsibility is a great one to share with tamariki and rangatahi, as it’s all about protecting young people like them.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the minimum age of criminal responsibility is currently 10 years old. 

This is the age that kids can be prosecuted and punished for a serious crime.

10 sounds too young right? That’s because it is.

We’re asking the government to raise the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14, in line with child development and international human rights recommendations.

To help you share this campaign with the tamariki in your life, we’ve designed an activity for kids aged 9 and under. In the link below, you’ll find a simple drawing activity, and for how to talk with children about the issues underlying this campaign. These talking points can be tweaked for older kids and teenagers too.

Let’s remind Justice Minister Kiritapu Allan of her responsibility to protect the rights of all tamariki in Aotearoa New Zealand.

You can help a budding human rights campaigner take their first steps into activism by posting a photo of their drawings and tagging with Minister Allan on , , or . Copy us in by tagging @AmnestyNZ and we’ll share your photos on our channels too!

While the kids get creative, you can also add your voice by taking two minutes to sign our petition and call on the government to raise the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14.