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UN inquiry highlights NZ’s shameful human rights record

28 January 2014

UN inquiry highlights NZ’s shameful human rights record

The National Government should be ashamed that New Zealand is consistently breaching basic human rights, according to evidence given to the United Nations, the Green Party said today.

Overnight, the UN’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group has been scrutinising New Zealand’s progress in promoting and protecting human rights. The process exposed major problems with human rights in New Zealand, particularly in the areas of child poverty and domestic violence.

“New Zealand is slipping when it comes to protecting human rights, and the international community is taking note,” Green Party human rights spokesperson Jan Logie said today.

“Submission after submission from interest groups raised serious concerns about how we treat our people.

“This is a timely reminder that the Government is failing in the area of human rights,” said Ms Logie.

“The Key Government is trying to trade on past human rights achievements but the fact remains we are losing ground, to the detriment of our most vulnerable.”

As well as highlighting deficiencies in the protection of women and children in New Zealand from family violence, the council also heard that there’s no framework in place sufficient to stop the New Zealand Government from breaching basic human rights, and that it has done so on several occasions.

Ms Logie said some of the key areas in which the Government had undermined protection of human rights included:
• Reforms of the Family Court, making access more difficult.
• Cuts to legal aid resulting in women putting themselves into financial hardship to get protection orders and protection order breaches not being uniformly prosecuted.
• Removed rights of Cantabrians to vote for their local regional council
• Legislation preventing carers of disabled family members from taking legal action.

Link to further details of the Green Party's Child Poverty package: http://www.greens.org.nz/endchildpoverty

ENDS

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