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


Fonterra/SanLu tragedy - need for rights in trade

Fonterra/SanLu tragedy reveals need for human rights to be at heart of international trade policy says Amnesty International

The results from New Zealand's largest ever pre-election survey on human rights show that 63% of election candidates who have responded agree that human rights should be an integral part of New Zealand's preferential trade agreements.

Amnesty International's Election Survey asked candidates throughout the country their views on various human rights issues, including how they would address the forming of trade relationships with countries that violate human rights.

"We have recently seen a grave example of the risks involved in the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Fonterra poisoned milk tragedy, so with a series of trade agreements to be signed with ASEAN, India and others, trade is likely to be a significant election issue," says Amnesty's spokesperson Rebecca Emery.

Findings from Amnesty's survey show that 43% of respondents see human rights as an integral part of trade policy and 20% view human rights as a requirement for trade, while 18% argue there is not necessarily a relationship between human rights and trade.

Responses from candidates of the Green Party, Maori Party and Alliance showed opposition to signing FTAs with countries that deny human rights, and indicated concern at the lack of public and Parliamentary consultation during negotiations.

Candidates from Labour and National however contended that trade relationships allowed for greater engagement with countries where human rights abuses occur.

"While this may be the case, Amnesty believes that all preferential trade agreements must all include binding labour standards set out by international labour laws, and not hinder New Zealand's ability to speak out on human rights concerns" says Emery.

"Much was made of the economic gains surrounding the New Zealand-China FTA, however it largely weakened labour rights obligations and failed to address, for example, how New Zealand would deal with goods produced under child, slave or prison labour," adds Emery.

"We now hope voters will check out our survey to make a well-informed decision when it comes to casting their vote in the election - to vote for human rights," says Emery.

About Amnesty International's Election'08 Campaign -
"Putting human rights at the heart of the debate"
Over the past few months Amnesty International has conducted New Zealand's largest pre-election survey on human rights, gathering responses from all election candidates to gauge their views on issues including human rights in the Asia-Pacific, violence against women, and torture and the War on Terror. Over 100 candidates representing all major parties have responded to Amnesty's survey, and all answers can be found at www.amnesty.org.nz/election2008

Note: Amnesty International is impartial and independent of any government. It does not support or promote any political party in the upcoming general election; rather it seeks to ensure the human rights of all individuals are respected and valued as affirmed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why New Zealand Needs To Change Its Defence Habits

In a flashback to the military displays of days gone by, one of our frigates recently joined a Carrier Strike show of force in the South China Sea, en route to a joint military exercise in Singapore with our traditional allies, called BersamaGold21. Reportedly, Anna Powles, from the Centre of Defence and Security Studies at Massey University felt this to be a case of us doing our bit to uphold international law, and the right of free transit through the region in question... More>>

Government: New COVID-19 Protection Framework Delivers Greater Freedoms For Vaccinated New Zealanders

Vaccinated New Zealanders will regain everyday freedoms when the country moves to a new simplified COVID-19 Protection Framework that doesn’t rely on nationwide lockdowns as the main measure to stop the virus spreading. In a suite of announcements that establish a pathway out of restrictions the Government is also providing up to $940 million per fortnight to support businesses through the challenging period... More>>



Government: Responds To Independent Review Into WorkSafe

The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says... More>>

Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>


Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>

Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>




InfoPages News Channels