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Inquiry: Role of human rights in foreign policy

5 May 2000

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Submissions due: Inquiry into the role of human rights in foreign policy

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Closing date: 16 June 2000.

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has initiated an inquiry into the role of human rights in foreign policy, for consideration and report back to the House.

If you wish to make a submission to the inquiry, please read the terms of reference (below); write your submission and forward twenty copies of it to David Sanders, Clerk of the Committee, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, Parliament House, Wellington. Your submission must reach him before 16 June 2000.

Please indicate clearly on the submission if you, or members of your organisation, wish to appear before the committee to present your submission. If you do wish this, then you should provide names, addresses and daytime contact telephone numbers for those persons wishing to appear.

Any submission received by the committee generally becomes public when it is released by the committee, or when it is presented orally before the committee, or when the committee makes its report to the House. If you do not want your address or telephone number released, such details should be omitted from your submission and provided in a separate covering letter. You may apply for any or all of your evidence to be heard in private or secret. Committees normally require reasons before agreeing to such requests. Please contact David Sanders tel (04) 471 9999 if you wish to make such an application.

Should the committee decided to hear submissions orally, hearings will be arranged at the committee’s discretion and you will be contacted regarding dates for the hearing.

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Terms of Reference

To inquire into NZ’s part in the promotion and implementation of international human rights, focusing particularly on the Asia / Pacific region. This enquiry to have particular reference to :

* the debate on the interpretation of human rights, particularly in the Asia / Pacific;

* the place of human rights in the relations between NZ and other countries;

* the place of the debate on human rights in the debate on regional security and stability;

* NZ’s role in the establishment and strengthening of multilateral human rights instruments;

* the extent of ratification of UN human rights treaties, particularly in the Asia / Pacific region, and the impact this has on the promotion and protection of the rights of children (including child labour issues), women, workers, indigenous people and minorities;

* the role of existing NZ institutions, both governmental and non-governmental, and the means by which these might be improved;

* the adequacy of existing mechanisms for the formulation, implementation and review of human rights strategy as an integral component of foreign policy.

The committee will present a report containing recommendations to the House.

Expanded terms of reference are available from David Sanders, tel (04) 471 9999, fax (04) 499 0486.

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PO Box 9314, Wellington, Aotearoa / New Zealand.
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