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UN Examines NZ Government's Performance on Rights

UN Human Rights Experts Examine NZ Government's Performance on Economic, Social And Cultural Rights

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The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights - the independent body of human rights experts that monitors state party compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) - will examine New Zealand's performance during its 63rd session which runs from 12 to 29 March 2018 in Geneva.

The Committee will hold two three-hour interactive dialogues with government representatives on Friday, 23 March (NZ time) that will be webcast live - details of how you can watch the two sessions, information about the NGO reports to the Committee, and links to more information are included below.

When considering the government's performance, in addition to New Zealand's written report and the interactive dialogues, the Committee will take into account NGO reports from: Action for Children & Youth Aotearoa and Child Poverty Action Group, Canterbury Men's Centre, He Kainga Oranga / Housing and Health Research and the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities, He Korowai Trust and Catherine Murupaenga-Ikenn, Human Rights Foundation, IHC New Zealand, Inclusive NZ, Independent Monitoring Mechanism for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions / Te Kauae Kaimahi, Peace Movement Aotearoa, Tamaki Legal, and a combined report from Health Promotion Forum, Pukenga Consultancy Ltd, STIR: Stop Institutional Racism, SOUL: Save Our Unique Landscape, Tamaki Tiriti Workers, Auckland University of Technology, Te Runanga o Aotearoa - New Zealand Nurses Organisation, New Zealand Public Health Association and Waka Oranga.

Issues raised in the NGO reports include:

· constitutional issues, such as Treaty-based constitutional arrangements, the Matike Mai Aotearoa report, the right of self-determination (ICESCR Article 1), free prior and informed consent, implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, and justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights;

· a range of economic, social and cultural rights, including worker's rights, rights to health, housing, water, social welfare, education and an adequate standard of living, children's rights, the rights of persons with disabilities, and the rights of older persons;

· structural discrimination and institutional racism in the criminal justice system, health and education;

· climate change, the TPPA / CPTPP, Ihumatao, extra-territorial obligations on New Zealand companies, and military spending;

· functional independence of the NZ Human Rights Commission, and the process for appointing Commissioners; and

· New Zealand’s failure to ratify a range of international human rights instruments including the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and the core ILO Conventions 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise) and 138 (Minimum Age for Admission to Employment); and its reservation on Article 14 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The Committee’s Concluding Observations on New Zealand’s performance will be released at the end of the 63rd session.

When and where you can watch the interactive dialogues

The interactive dialogues between Committee members and the government delegation will be webcast live on Friday, 23 March at 3am NZ time (Thursday, 22 March at 3pm in Geneva)and at 10pm NZ time (Friday, 23 March, at 10am in Geneva) on UN Web TV at

Where you can get more information

· Background information and updates on the 63rd session - including information on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and New Zealand, the process leading to the 63rd session, links to the NGO reports, who said what during the 63rd session, and media coverage - is available at

· New Zealand and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights index page,

· Share this information on Facebook at


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