The New Zealand Herald reports that the United Nations committee on the rights of the child has expressed concern over shortfalls in the rights of New Zealand children, including “staggering” infant and child mortality rates and a lack of representation for children in legislation. It has questioned why New Zealand does not have a department or ministry responsible for children’s issues. The committee has been meeting with Government representatives in Geneva to examine our performance on child rights. The committee found that while the majority of children were living well and in a safe and protective environment where their rights were respected, there were areas where improvements were needed, including areas of serious concern. The committee noted that, although many laws had been passed, children were “fairly invisible” in legislation and regretted that the age of criminality had been lowered for some cases.