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

Gordon Campbell:
On Anne Tolley’s
Callous Folly

Years ago, I remember someone in the Heath Ministry telling me off the record that regulatory oversight in this country largely consisted in ‘waiting for something to turn green or fall off somebody’ before the authorities would swing into action...

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

 

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Housing MPs: New Building(s) For Parliament

A new building will be erected on Parliament grounds to house Members of Parliament and their staff who currently work in leased accommodation in Bowen House. The plan has cross-Party support, apart from NZ First, said Parliament’s Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news