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


UN Report a wake-up call for Government

14 August 2002

Media Statement

(For Immediate Release)

UN Report a wake-up call for Government

The Human Rights Foundation is calling for a review of the Government’s refugee policies following UN criticism of New Zealand for its detention and treatment of asylum seekers since last year’s terrorist attacks in the United States.

The Human Rights Foundation is the non-government organisation which, with the Refugee Council, initiated the successful High Court proceedings that ruled the Government’s refugee detention policy unlawful.

Peter Hosking, the Foundation’s Executive Director says the UN Report is a wake-up call for the Government. “We told the Government at the time that its detention policy would undermine New Zealand’s human rights standing and it has done just that. New Zealand often takes the high ground on international human rights issues and did so just yesterday with the Prime Minister’s call for Zimbabwe’s expulsion from the Commonwealth. Our human rights credibility is an essential part of both our foreign policy and our aid programme. The UN Report is a foreign policy setback, and reinforces the High Court decision that the current refugee detention policy cannot be sustained. We cannot afford to have our human rights standards degraded in this way,” he says.

Peter Hosking says the Foundation wants a thorough review of New Zealand’s approach to refugees, in conjunction with the non-governmental community that works with refugees. “The new refugee detention policy and the immigration law changes in July were implemented in haste with the election looming,” he says. “We can understand the Government’s desire not to be outflanked on immigration issues during an election campaign by fringe parties in search of 5% of the vote, but it is now time to step back and take a considered approach to the problem.”

The Foundation will be writing to the Minister of Immigration seeking a meeting to discuss its call for a review of current refugee policies.


Note for Editors:

For more information on the Human Rights Foundation, and to view a copy of the Foundation’s report on the routine detention of asylum seekers Freedoms Ramparts on the Sea, visit the Human Rights Foundation’s website at www.humanrights.co.nz

For a copy of the Report of the United Nations Human Rights Committee compiled under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, visit the website of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at www.unhchr.ch or contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ph (04) 494 8500


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Political Donations Scandals

Even paranoids have real enemies. While there has been something delusionary about the way New Zealand First has been living in denial about its donations scandal, one can sympathise with its indignation about Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges being among its chief accusers. Given that the National Party is enmeshed in a donation scandal of its own that shares the same core features, it is a bit like Al Capone being accused of wrongdoing by Bonnie and Clyde. Unfortunately, the entire country seems to be living in denial about the existence of these sort of shenanigans... More>>

First Published on Werewolf here


UN Expert: NZ Housing Crisis Requires Bold Human Rights Response

This is a press statement from UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing at the end of her 10-day visit to New Zealand. The Government of New Zealand has recognized that the country is facing a housing crisis, said Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur ... More>>


Water Woes: Wellington Reflects National Problem

Water utilities right across the country face major challenges to upgrade and maintain their underground three waters network. Water New Zealand’s Technical Manager, Noel Roberts says Wellington’s waste water woes are not unique to the capital city... More>>


2020 And Beyond: National’s Economic Plan

National Leader Simon Bridges has today outlined National’s economic plan heading into election 2020. “National understands the economy and how it impacts on New Zealanders day to day lives... More>>


Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>






InfoPages News Channels