Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


UN recommendations on racial discrimination welcomed

4 March 2013

Federation welcomes UN recommendations on racial discrimination

The New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils welcomes the recommendations made to the New Zealand Government this week by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The Committee considered New Zealand’s performance in race relations in Geneva on 22-23 February, and has now published its conclusions. Minister of Justice and of Ethnic Affairs Hon. Judith Collins led the New Zealand delegation that met with the Committee.

“The Committee’s 15 recommendations cover some of the most important race relations issues that we face as a society in New Zealand”, says Federation President Tayo Agunlejika. “They range from Treaty issues, racial inequalities and structural discrimination to languages, racism on the internet and asylum seekers.”

“We support all the recommendations but are particularly pleased that the Committee has taken up two issues raised by the Federation: discrimination against migrants in employment and the proposed abolition of the designation of Race Relations Commissioner in the Human Rights Commission. We particularly urge the Government to act on these recommendations.”

Mr Agunlejika said that the Committee had expressed concern at the remarks by MP Richard Prosser, and recommended that the Government “intensify its efforts to promote ethnic harmony through, inter alia, raising awareness in order to combat existing stereotypes and prejudices against certain ethnic and religious groups.”

Other recommendations of particular relevance to the Federation’s members concerned support for the maintenance of community languages, action to address racism on the internet, and non-detention of asylum seekers.

The full text of the Committee’s report is available here.

Federation submissions and Committee recommendations:

Discrimination against migrants

What the Federation submitted:
“There is considerable research that indicates that one of the major forms of discrimination that migrants and ethnic minorities face in New Zealand is in relation to employment. This is also the experience of our members. Employment discrimination takes a number of forms. One significant form is that many overseas professional qualifications are not recognised by New Zealand professional bodies, meaning that migrants are employed (if they achieve employment) in work below their level of qualification. Although we recognise the need for registered qualifications we believe that this is used by some professional and registration bodies to protect their members from competition by migrants despite the need for these skills. We submit that this represents discrimination in terms of the right to work under Article 5 € (i) of the Convention”

What the UN Committee recommended:
16. The Committee is concerned at reports of persistent discrimination against migrants, particularly of Asian origin, in the labour market, including reports of inadequate recognition of their educational qualifications, which leads to their concentration in low-paying jobs (Articles 2 and 5).

The Committee recommends that the State party ensure the full and effective enforcement of the measures taken to protect Asian migrants, including targeted measures to strengthen equal access to the labour market in order to alleviate the concentration of qualified individuals in low paying jobs. The Committee further urges the State party to support a system for the objective assessment of their educational qualifications.

Role of the Race Relations Commissioner

What the Federation submitted:
“The Federation is concerned that the Human Rights Amendment Bill currently before Parliament will abolish the designation of Race Relations Commissioner and make the role subject to the direction of the Chief Human Rights Commissioner. The Office of the Race Relations Commissioner was established in 1972 in order for New Zealand to comply with the Convention, and was merged with the Human Rights Commission in 2002. Assurances were given by the government at the time to ethnic communities that this merger would not affect the role or indepedence of the position of Race Relations Commissioner, which replaced that of Race Relations Conciliator. The present amending legislation will, in our view be a breach of that assurance and will reduce the visibility, accessibility and indpendence of the position. We consider that this will compromise the government’s obligation under Article 6 of the Convention to provide effective protection and remedies to persons experiencing racial discrimination.”

What the UN Committee recommended
6. While noting that the proposed Human Rights Amendment Bill is designed in part to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Human Rights Commission and to broaden its mandate to cover matters such as disability, the Committee is concerned that this amendment may negatively affect the visibility, accessibility and independence of the Race Relations Commissioner (Article 2).

The Committee recommends that the State party considers retaining the designation of the Office of the Race Relations Commissioner in order to maintain its visibility and accessibility in the State party. The Committee also recommends that the State party ensure that any change effected by this amendment guarantee the independence of the Office of the Race Relations Commissioner to undertake its mandate effectively.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

TV3 Videos: Key's Flip-Flop Over Whale Oil Texts | Slater
Reaction: Greens | More
Dim-Post Link: The Very Odd Slightly Left Of Centre

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel.

Ludicrously, the public has been given exactly one day to make submissions on these major infringements of their civil liberties. Despite Finlayson’s misleading signals on RNZ that these are only stopgaps until next year’s full review of our security laws, the measures in question will not, in fact, expire until 2018.

Why the insane rush? Good question. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

White Ribbon Day: Govt Resumes Sexual Violence Trial Proceedings Work

Justice Minister Amy Adams has asked the Law Commission to resume work on proposals for better supporting victims of sexual violence through the criminal process. The Law Commission will revisit its previous work on alternative pre-trial and trial processes to identify options for improving complainants’ experience in court. More>>

ALSO:

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news