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

 


NZ rejects international recommendations on inequality

20 June 2014

New Zealand rejects international recommendations to address inequality

New Zealand should reconsider its decision to reject key human rights recommendations at the United Nations Human Rights Council, said Amnesty International.

The human rights organisation made the call following the formal adoption of the report into New Zealand’s human rights record, which took place in Switzerland last night.

“While we welcome the New Zealand government’s engagement with the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, the rejection of key recommendations to address social inequality is deeply concerning,” said Amanda Brydon, Advocacy Manager at Amnesty International New Zealand.

“Unfortunately New Zealand has failed to show the world and our own people that the Government is willing to close the gap when it comes to human rights protection in our own country.”

The Government accepted 121 of the recommendations made by States during New Zealand’s review process in January and rejected 34.

Of the 34 that were rejected, a significant number offered specific advice on strengthening New Zealand’s legal protection of economic, social and cultural rights that would guide genuine solutions to addressing New Zealand’s poor performance on issues such as child poverty.

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.

“Unfortunately, despite commitments to do so, the Government isn't doing its utmost to address this, as by accepting some recommendations while rejecting others they are simply taking a band aid approach,” said Amanda Brydon.

“We will be watching closely and calling on the Government to continue the Constitutional Conversation and take concrete action to further address these issues by taking a human rights approach to ensure our children and our people’s well-being.”

With New Zealanders today celebrating World Refugee Day, New Zealand’s failure to protect the world’s most vulnerable by now officially rejecting the recommendation to rule out the transferal of asylum seekers to detention centres in third countries is also cause for grave concern.

“Amnesty International has repeatedly highlighted the deplorable system of offshore detention, in facilities such as Manus Island in Papua New Guinea where asylum seekers are held in cruel and degrading conditions, that the New Zealand government would even consider this an option is shameful,” said Amanda Brydon.

“The stance taken by the Government in dismissing these important recommendations really brings into question New Zealand’s leadership role in the protection of human rights.”

“With New Zealand’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council drawing closer, the UPR process was a key opportunity to prove that New Zealand is committed to putting human rights protection at the centre of everything to 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 was again reviewed in January 2014.

The UN Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of New Zealand’s UPR at 9.00am on Thursday 19 June in Geneva, Switzerland.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Professor Ian Shirley: The Budget That Failed Auckland

The 2016 budget offered Auckland nothing in the way of vision or hope and it continued the National Government’s threats against the Auckland Council. Threatening the Council with over-riding its democratic processes if it fails to release land for housing is a bullying tactic aimed at diverting attention away from the fundamental problems with housing in the region. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post Cab Presser: Budgets, Trusts And Pacific Diplomacy

Today Prime Minister John Key summarised last week’s budget and provided further detail about his upcoming trip to Fiji. He said that there has been “plenty going on” in the last couple of weeks and emphasised the need for Auckland council to facilitate more housing supply. More>>

ALSO:

Max Rashbrooke: A Failure Of Measurement: Inside The Budget Lock-Up

Shortly after the embargo lifted at 2pm news organisations started filing reports claiming that health, and to a lesser extent housing and education, were the ‘big winners’ out of the Budget. It failed to take into account the fact that in most cases the apparent increases were in fact cuts. Because of the twin effects of inflation and population. More>>

ALSO:

DOCtored Figures: Minister Clarifies DOC Budget

“Commentators have overlooked the fact $20.7m of that perceived shortfall is new funding for Battle for our Birds 2016, provided for in last week’s Budget...” DOC also has approval in principle to carry over a further $20m to 16/17 due to unexpected delays in a number of projects. More>>

ALSO:

For The Birds: Gordon Campbell On The Budget

Budgies, so their Wikipedia page says, are popular pets around the world due to their small size, low cost, and ability to mimic human speech. Which is a reasonably good description of Finance Minister Bill English eighth Budget. . More>>

Max Rashbrooke On The 2016 Budget

The best label for this year’s announcement by Bill English might be the ‘Bare Minimum Budget’. It does the bare minimum to defuse potential political damage in a range of areas – homelessness and health are prime among them – but almost nothing to address the country’s most deep-rooted, systemic social problems. Indeed the Budget hints that these problems may get worse. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news