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

 


Response to human rights recommendations questioned

UN Human Rights Council combined intervention questions the sincerity of the government’s response to human rights recommendations.


Peace Movement Aotearoa

20 June 2014


A combined intervention to the UN Human Rights Council, delivered by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) last night on behalf of 12 non-governmental, union and iwi organisations*, questions the sincerity of the government’s response to human rights recommendations.

The intervention was made during the adoption of the outcome report on the second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of New Zealand’s human rights performance by UN Human Rights Council member and observer states, and is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nzupr-ngos-2014.pdf

At the time of the UPR review in January 2014, UN member states made 155 recommendations to improve human rights in Aotearoa New Zealand. The government’s response was released in May, and while at first glance it seemed impressive with 121 recommendations accepted and 34 rejected, unfortunately on closer examination it is not so positive.

Firstly, in relation to the accepted recommendations, the combined intervention raised concerns about the sincerity of the government’s response. Its responses frequently do not address the point of the respective recommendation, for example, those regarding the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and on consultation with Maori; or are misleading, for example, in relation to access to education, access to buildings for persons with disabilities, the level of official development assistance, and the national human rights action plan; or both.

In other instances, the government incorrectly stated that legislation is consistent with its human rights obligations when it is not; for example, claiming that its counter-terrorism legislation “complies with the legal safeguards enshrined in the ICCPR”, whereas the UN Human Rights Committee (which monitors state party compliance with the ICCPR) has clearly stated provisions of the legislation are incompatible with the human rights protected in Article 14.

Secondly, most of the rejected recommendations relate to international human rights instruments and to the constitutional and legislative framework, indicating a lack of commitment by the government to meaningful protection and promotion of human rights both now and in the future.

In the intervention, the NGOs, union and iwi organisations stated that they are deeply concerned at the lack of full protection for human rights under New Zealand's current constitutional arrangements. While this has dangers for all of us, it is particularly harmful for hapu and iwi because successive governments have not hesitated to deny their rights when doing do is perceived to be to the political advantage of the government of the day.

The combined intervention reiterated the UPR recommendations about the constitutional and legislative framework, as well as those from the UN human rights treaty monitoring bodies and Special Procedures, and urged the government to begin a process of constitutional change that will give full effect to the Treaty of Waitangi, and to its obligations under the international human rights instruments.

* Peace Movement Aotearoa, the Aotearoa Indigenous Rights Trust, Auckland Catholic Diocese Bicultural Working Party, Christian World Service, Human Rights Foundation, Network Waitangi Otautahi, Ngati Huarere ki Whangapoua Trust, Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand, Pacific Centre for Participatory Democracy, Te Runanga o Nga Kaimahi Maori o Aotearoa (NZ Council of Trade Unions Runanga), Te Runanga o te Whanau, and WILPF Aotearoa call on the government to fully implement all the accepted UPR recommendations, to reconsider those it has rejected, and to develop a transparent action plan to do this.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Post Cab Presser: Inquiries And Consciences

    This afternoon the Prime Minister John Key announced that his cabinet had drafted terms of reference for the Havelock North water contamination inquiry... In response to questions on the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, the Prime Minister said he didn't think allowing National MPs a conscience vote was warranted. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news