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

 


New Zealand’s Human rights record in the global spotlight

New Zealand’s Human rights record in the global spotlight

New Zealand will be asked to step up and make strong commitments to the protection of human rights during its second review at the United Nations’ Human Rights Council in Geneva next week, said Amnesty International.

On 27 January, in Switzerland, New Zealand’s progress on issues such as child poverty, violence against women and refugees and asylum seekers will be subject to global scrutiny during its Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

“This is a key opportunity for New Zealand to show the world it’s committed to closing the gaps in its human rights protection,” said Amanda Brydon, Amnesty International’s Advocacy Manager who will be present at the Review.

“The UPR is such an important way to call governments to account for poor performance on human rights and Amnesty International will be making sure that the full story is told about the state of New Zealand’s human rights.”

While New Zealand is often lauded on the international stage for having a principled approach to human rights the reality is that there are several critical outstanding issues that New Zealand must address.

“On a domestic level New Zealand has failed to ensure our human rights are adequately protected,” said Brydon.

“Not all of our rights are actually part of the law here in New Zealand, in particular economic, social and cultural rights, which are treated as second class rights and means human rights are very rarely at the core of public policy development.”

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of relative child poverty in the developed world, with children frequently missing out on meals, getting sick with third-world diseases, living in poor housing conditions, underachieving at school and feeling marginalised in their communities.

“What Amnesty International is recommending is that the New Zealand government takes a rights based approach to domestic issues such as child poverty,” said Brydon.

“This would mean that New Zealand’s human rights obligations under international law are the focus of an action plan when it comes to meeting the most vulnerable children’s rights to health, education and an adequate standard of living.”

“New Zealand also has an opportunity to step up in helping some of the world’s most vulnerable people by increasing the number of refugees resettled through the UN quota system from 750 to 1000 per annum,” said Brydon.

“New Zealand continues to promise to make New Zealand’s bid for the Security Council a principled one, and the UPR process offers a key opportunity to prove that by committing to put human rights protection at home and abroad at the centre of everything we do.”

BACKGROUND

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a relatively new UN mechanism that aims at reviewing a country’s human rights performance every 4-5 years. New Zealand was under review for the first time in 2009 and will again be reviewed in January 2014.

During the actual review all UN member states can take the floor, ask questions and make recommendations to the government under review. The New Zealand government decides whether it accepts recommendations or not. At the end of the review a final report is drafted, outlining all human rights concerns as well as New Zealand’s stance on the issues mentioned.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point.

By ‘some quarters’, I mean (a) RadioLive host Sean Plunket who called Catton a “traitor” and (b) Prime Minister John Key who dismissed her views as being those of a typical Green Party supporter, which is apparently almost as bad.

In context, Catton seemed to be talking about the mixed feelings she felt after what she had created suddenly becoming a kind of public property claimed by the entire country and its leaders. That must feel weird at any time, in any place. Catton evidently finds it particularly alienating when the government of the day has shown little interest in the arts beyond their promotional/economic value. More>>

 

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news