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PSA: World Human Rights Day an opportunity to reflect

This year’s World Human Rights Day is an opportunity to reflect on the state of the world 70 years after the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, says the PSA.

"Today’s 70th anniversary firstly shows how enduringly well the declaration has stood the test of time, as well as giving cause to reflect on the ongoing struggles that remain for truly universal human rights to be achieved," say PSA national secretaries Kerry Davies and Glenn Barclay.

"Articles in the declaration that affirm the right everyone has to equal access to public service, wherever they live, and that defend the right to just and favourable conditions of work show a level of progressive thinking that workers around the world can take heart from.

"As so clearly and forcefully set out, word for word, in article 23, everyone has rights to equal pay for equal work, to just and favourable remuneration and to form and join trade unions, without any discrimination.

"The PSA agrees with the message from Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero today that the declaration is as relevant today as it ever has been," say Kerry Davies and Glenn Barclay.

"Without protection hard-won rights can be lost. That’s one of the reasons it was so important to see balance restored to employment relations with the passing of a new law last week to enhance the basic rights of workers in the form of the Employment Relations Amendment Act.

"We wish Paula Teoriero well for her presentation later this week of a report on the status of human rights in New Zealand to representatives of UN member states in Geneva. It is a credit to equal pay advocates that she will be reporting on game-changing settlements and that steps being taken to eliminate the gender pay gap will be presented.

"There is always more to do, but at the same time there is no better time to benchmark ourselves each year than on World Human Rights Day".

Note: New Zealand was one of the 48 states that proclaimed the Declaration at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in Paris, on 10 December 1948. The Declaration, which includes 30 articles and a preamble, was worked on by representatives from around the world, including our Prime Minister Peter Fraser. Supporting Fraser were South Canterbury Hospital Board member and political activist, Ann Newlands, and a young lawyer and diplomat Colin Aikman, who was studying in London. #StandUp4HumanRights


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