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UN – NZ failing on domestic violence and protecting children

UN – NZ failing on domestic violence and protecting children

A UN report on New Zealand human rights has confirmed this Government needs to do better, the Green Party said today.

The UN’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group issued 155 recommendations for New Zealand early this morning, many in relation to domestic violence and child poverty. This is up from only 64 recommendations at the last review of New Zealand.

25 of the recommendations related to women’s rights – particularly to equal pay and safety. 18 related to inequality and the socio-economic disparities that Maori, Pacific and minority communities suffer compared to other New Zealanders. 7 specifically refer to child poverty amongst many other important issues reflecting this Government’s failure to protect our rights.

“The international community’s message is clear. New Zealand has lost ground when it comes to the protection of our women and children, and we must make improvements,” said Green Party human rights spokesperson Jan Logie today.

“This is embarrassing, but it’s also a very timely reminder that the National Government needs to stop its systematic roll back of legislation that protects our most vulnerable.

“The Family Court Reforms, Welfare reforms, Immigration Amendment Act, New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Act, GCSB changes and the CERA Act, were amongst a raft of law changes that were singled out as regressive by NZ experts.

“Of course New Zealand has a lot to be proud of in terms of human rights. Generations have fought very hard for the rights we have. It’s important that we honour those efforts by ensuring we keep progressing their visions and don’t lose any ground,” said Ms Logie.

Some of the key recommendations:

· Establish indicators to measure child poverty;

· Further strengthen and expand national action plans to reduce child poverty and that of their families;

· Speed up the rebuilding and compensation process in the aftermath of the Canterbury Earthquakes;

· Include economic, social and cultural rights Review in the Bill of Rights Act;

· Take concrete measures to ensure the implementation and promotion of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

· Eliminate the gender pay gap;

· Put in place a national strategy to combat domestic violence;

· Continue combating and condemning racism and hate speech used by politicians as well as the expression of racism in the media, in particular discriminatory language and hate speech and the dissemination of racist ideas and languages;

· Make sure the Immigration Amendment Act will not create unfair discrimination;

· Continue its efforts to effectively implement the New Zealand Disability Strategy.

ends

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