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

 

PM's Press Conference: Crime And Diplomacy

The Prime Minister's press conference today was dominated by foreign affairs and an open letter from the PM to the Chinese community on crime. More>>

ACC: Govt Caught In Unethical Cluster Bomb Investments

The ACC Fund admitted that it had $1.4 million invested in cluster munitions and nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Before responding to the Green Party’s request for information,however, ACC sold its Lockheed investment and updated its ethical investment policy. More>>

ALSO:

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>c

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

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>>

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news