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Commission Welcomes UN Convention

Media Release
5 September 2008

Commission Welcomes UN Convention

The Mental Health Commission applauds new legislation that paves the way for New Zealand to ratify an international convention on disability rights.

The Government has passed the Disability Bill, putting New Zealand in a position where it can now ratify – and comply with – the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Mental Health Chair Commissioner Peter McGeorge says the Commission strongly supports ratification of the UN Convention.

“New Zealand has done a lot of significant work in the area of disability but everyone knows there’s a lot more still to be done,” he says.

“The UN Convention will provide a significant international legal framework to guide further reform of New Zealand’s laws, government policies and community attitudes.

“We need international safeguards like this to promote the human rights of people with disabilities, including those who experience mental illness or addiction, and to push for greater levels of social inclusion.

“It’s about participating in society and enjoying the rights of citizenship, and the Commission really supports that.”

Dr McGeorge says the Commission will support implementation of the UN Convention by helping to raise the profile of issues affecting people with psychiatric disabilities and by identifying the barriers to participation that currently exist.


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