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Calls for human rights to be at heart of election

Amnesty calls for human rights to be at heart of the election debate

On the 115th anniversary of New Zealand becoming the first country in the world to give women the vote, Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand (AIANZ) has renewed its call for candidates to put human rights at the heart of the election debate.

Not only was New Zealand a trailblazer in women's suffrage it also played a key role in creating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which this year is celebrating 60 years in existence.

"These landmark events attest that New Zealand has a history of being a pioneer for human rights. We should continue to be proud of this tradition and ensure that election candidates honour historic commitments" says Rebecca Emery, Amnesty's spokesperson.

Over the last month, Amnesty has been asking election candidates their views on human rights issues as they relate to specific topics, including China's human rights record and the role they forsee the NZ Government playing in the ratification and implementation of key human rights treaties in the Pacific. The responses to Amnesty's survey are updated daily on their website.

"We are hoping to see election candidates act according to the commitment that was made 60 years ago at the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - to deliver concrete improvements in human rights. The public has an important role to ensure that candidates place human rights at the heart of this year's election," adds Emery.

See candidates' responses to Amnesty's survey at www.amnesty.org.nz

Note to editors:
Amnesty International is impartial and independent of any government, political persuasion or religious creed. It does not support or promote any individual party in the upcoming general election. Rather it seeks to ensure that the human rights of all individuals are respected and valued as affirmed by the UDHR.


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