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 Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news