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

 


Harmful Digital Communications Bill

Harmful Digital Communications Bill

The Human Rights Commission welcomes the introduction of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill which aims to address cyberbullying and providing victims with forms of redress.

In the Commission’s submission to the Justice and Electoral Committee, Chief Commissioner David Rutherford says the right to be free from bullying is fundamental to the realisation of basic human rights.

“Everyone, particularly children, have a right to personal security,” he says.

“There is no difference between the harm caused by bullying in the real or digital worlds. It’s not OK to threaten anyone. Bullying – including cyberbullying - is a major human rights issue in New Zealand because it threatens the very right to life.”

For some years now the Human Rights Commission has been involved in the issue of bullying and its effects.

David Rutherford says the Commission recognises that although some opponents of the Bill may argue it infringes the right to freedom of expression the Commission considers that restriction justified in order to protect vulnerable people and children in particular.

“The Bill strikes the right balance between freedom of expression and the need to prevent or reduce harm to others” David Rutherford says.

The Commission is also troubled about the extent of cyberbullying, noting with concern that Vodafone New Zealand’s black list of text bullying has received 130,000 complaints.

The Bill will create a new civil enforcement regime that will resolve complaints in a number of ways including mediation and the District Court declaring the breach of Communication Principles.

One of the principles, Communication Principle 10, states that a digital communication should not denigrate someone because of some of the grounds that are unlawful under the Human Rights Act. The grounds are colour, race, ethnic or national origins, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

The Commission, in its submission, questioned why the principle does not extend to the other grounds of the Act such as beneficiary status which is part of employment status. Beneficiaries who are hounded or criticised for living off the State, for example, may be equally upset by unpleasant online comment but unable to complain under the Bill.

“The Commission finds it hard to understand why some of the grounds have been included and not others.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Transport Report: LGNZ Calls For Proactive Approach To Mobilise Regions

LGNZ has today released Mobilising the Regions, its major transport study, which highlights the economic and social impact of strategic transport decisions nationally and in the regions, and the direct link between regional development, national prosperity, social well-being and cohesiveness. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: New Rules Bring Double-Deckers To Our Cities

New rules that allow buses, including double-deckers, to carry more people will ramp up the public transport offering in our cities, Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss say. More>>

ALSO:

Cycling:


Images & Video: Four Alternative Flags For Referendum

Flag Consideration Panel chair, Professor John Burrows, said the Panel’s decision had been guided first and foremost by the results of its engagement programme across a range of communities where thousands of Kiwis shared what was special about New Zealand, as well as the Panel’s own selection criteria. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: New Figures Show Speculators Rampant

New figures released by the Reserve Bank show there’s been an explosion in mortgage lending with most of the growth going to property investors, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

False Official Information Response: English's Apology Accepted

Finance Minister Bill English is being thanked for his apology to New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters... Mr English says his staff and the Treasury have searched again, and they found the document that they denied having. More>>

ALSO:

Midwives On Pay Equity: Historic Bill Of Rights Case For High Court

“We have been left with no choice.” That from Karen Guilliland, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, as the organisation prepares to file a pay parity discrimination case on the basis of gender under the NZ Bill of Rights Act in the High Court. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news