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Airline policy a clear breach of human rights

Wayne Mapp MP National Party Spokesman for Political Correctness Eradication

25 February 2006

Airline policy a clear breach of human rights

National's spokesman for Political Correctness Eradication, Wayne Mapp, has made a submission to the Human Rights Commission's investigation of the policy of Air New Zealand and Qantas not to seat men beside unaccompanied children.

Dr Mapp first asked the Human Rights Commission to investigate after a passenger on a Qantas flight was asked to move by an airline representative when it was found he was seated beside an unaccompanied child.

"Following this a number of similar incidents came to light," says Dr Mapp.

"The Air New Zealand/Qantas decision not to seat unaccompanied children beside male passengers is a breach of both the fundamental principles of our democracy and the Human Rights Act.

"The basis for this policy is that men are a greater risk to children than women. However, both airlines have been careful not to state exactly how men pose a greater risk.

"And neither Air New Zealand or Qantas has been able to point to an actual case where a man did something harmful to an unaccompanied child on an aircraft.

"Airlines have a duty to provide a safe environment for unaccompanied children. But they should be able to do that without having to discriminate on the basis of sex. They should not treat every man like a potential criminal.

"The airlines should be required to establish procedures that will enable the protection of children in a way that does not breach the Human Rights Act," says Dr Mapp.

ENDS

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