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First Feedback Points To Key Human Rights

Media Release
9 December 2003

First feedback points to key human rights

The right to health, to justice and to an adequate standard of living are at the top of the list of human rights important to New Zealanders.

That's the preliminary feedback from the first round of public consultation carried out as part of the development of the New Zealand Action Plan for Human Rights (NZAPHR). The right to education, to security of the person and to work followed closely.

Tomorrow is International Human Rights Day, celebrating 55 years since the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and marking one year since the Human Rights Commission launched the NZAPHR.

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan says that while New Zealand has a positive human rights record there is still work to be done.

"The NZAPHR process has provided New Zealanders with the opportunity to have their say on human rights and to help determine the issues that are most important to them."

The NZAPHR aims to provide an overall picture of how well New Zealand is doing in human rights, and recommend actions to address areas that need improving.

The information gathered as part of the first phase of the public consultation will be used to develop a report on the status of human rights in New Zealand which will be released in March next year.

The first round of public participation ran from August to November and involved some 200 workshops, "drop-in" centres, research, an online survey and written submissions. The second round of public consultation will begin in May 2004.

The development of the NZAPHR will be completed and presented to Government late next year. Once in place the Human Rights Commission will monitor the plan's implementation.

For more information on the NZAPHR: www.hrc.co.nz/actionplan

Human Rights Day celebrations will be held tomorrow in Auckland at Aotea Square as well as at other events throughout the country.

ENDS


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