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

 


JustSpeak concerned about transgender imprisonment

JustSpeak concerned about transgender imprisonment


JustSpeak is concerned about the abuse of the rights of transgender offenders sentenced to imprisonment in New Zealand prisons.

JustSpeak calls on the Government to ensure that our legislative framework does not expose prisoners to unnecessary risk of abuse because of their transgender identity. Further, JustSpeak calls on New Zealanders and the Government to take a strong stand against all abuse in prisons.

The Government, acting on behalf of all New Zealanders, is responsible for almost every aspect of prisoners’ lives, including keeping them safe from abuse. As New Zealanders, we cannot accept sexual, physical, psychological and emotional abuse as a normal part of prison life, when the Government has the power to prevent that abuse.

Under our international obligations New Zealand has recognised that all humans are free and equal in dignity and rights. Our human rights and freedoms are to be protected without discrimination, including on the basis of sex or any other status (including gender identity and sexual orientation). We have agreed to protect the rights of prisoners not to be subject to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Recent reports released by the Office of the Ombudsman and the Equal Justice Project have clearly represented to the government the unique difficulties transgender prisoners face. There is a real concern that abuse, particularly of transgender prisoners, is a current reality in New Zealand prisons.

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley has recently introduced new policy which allows prisoners who have changed the gender on their birth certificate to automatically be put into a prison based on that gender. However, we acknowledge the process for a person to change their gender on their birth certificate is not accessible for a large percentage of the transgender community. Those transgender prisoners whose sex on their birth certificate has not been changed can apply to be moved, but applications are still only to be considered case by case. JustSpeak commends the Government for recognizing that transgender people are a vulnerable group with complex needs and for recently putting into place procedures which provide flexibility in determining the most appropriate accommodation options for transgender prisoners. This policy is directed at one of the most important issues around housing transgender prisoners. However, it does not directly address the risk of abuse faced by transgender prisoners once housed, including the time period which occurs prior to any application being heard.

JustSpeak implores the Government to continue to take further steps to protect the basic human rights of transgender people and to work towards reducing abuse in New Zealand prisons generally.

JustSpeak acknowledges the tough choice the sentencing Judge had to make in this particular case between the safety of the offender and that of her victims. However, Judges should not have to choose between the safety of victims and the wider community, and protecting offenders from abuse within our prison system. Although JustSpeak supports the use of alternatives to prison where appropriate, if imprisonment is the only option offenders have the right to be protected from abuse.

We share New Zealanders’ aspirations for a world-leading justice system that reduces the threat of crime and deals fairly with crime when it does occur. An important part of that system is a prison service that treats all prisoners with dignity and respect.

A prison service that does not protect the basic human rights of transgender individuals falls below what we can expect from our justice system – and the Government should continue to act to address this.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

  • Govt Probed Over Health & Safety
  • Questions and Answers 28-05-15
  • Week in Parliament 22-05-15
  • Saturday Sitting
  • House Rises At Midnight
  • Telco Levy Bill Passes
  • Telco Levy Bill Completes First Reading
  • Social Housing Bill Passes Under Urgency

  • Labour Party: McCully Doesn’t Deny Bribe In Saudi Sheep Scandal

    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Welfare: Closure Of Relationships Aotearoa

    The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) Chief Executive Lucy Sandford-Reed is concerned about the closure of a national service which provides a wide range of services to rural and urban communities throughout New Zealand. More>>

    ALSO:

    TPPA: University Of Auckland Warns Of Negative TPP Impact

    The University of Auckland May 20, 2015 University of Auckland Warns of Negative TPP Impact With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation drawing to a close, the University of Auckland has expressed serious concerns about its potential implications. ... More>>

    NZ Flag: Flag Referendum Gets Hit Hard In New Poll

    The latest Campbell Live text poll confirms it is time for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and shelve his flag referendum, says the New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Belated Moves On Property Speculation

    Is it a property tax on capital gains or a capital gains tax on property? The Jesuitical distinctions in the government’s spin about its latest moves on property speculators are all about whether the government can claim that it jumped, or confess that it ... More>>

    Grant Robertson:
    Key Can’t Just Be Prime Minister For Parnell

    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In a ... More>>


    Labour Party: More Regional Jobs Go In Corrections Reshape

    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • NZ First - Prison Job Losses to Send Money Offshore
  • TPPA: ‘Team Obama’ Regroups On Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable

    ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland ... More>>

    NZ Government: 5,500 More Doctors And Nurses In Our Hospitals

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the country. More>>

    Controller and Auditor General: Katherine Rich Conflict of Interest Decision

    We are writing to you about a matter that has been raised with us by members of the public. More>>

    ALSO:

    Budget 2015: Andrew Little On The 2015 Budget

    Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the Labour opposition leader attacked the government’s approach to economic issues facing New Zealand. He said they have been “more than reckless in their complacency” and “the next week’s budget will do nothing ... More>>

    Defence Force: NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel In Iraq

    NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel in Iraq The New Zealand Defence Force Building Partner Capacity training mission contingent is in place at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the ... More>>

    PM Press Conference: ACC Levy Cuts Announced

    In a press conference this afternoon in Wellington, ACC Minister Nikki Kaye proposed $500 million worth of ACC levy cuts. More>>

    Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news