Human rights cases highlight discrimination in NZ
Human Rights Commission
embargo till 6am, 10 December 2009
Human rights cases highlight discrimination in New Zealand
Recent survey numbers released by Statistics New Zealand show one in 10 people had been discriminated against in the past 12 months.
The Human Rights Commission dealt with 5834 enquiries and complaints in the past year, the majority relating to discrimination based on race, disability and sex. The Commission also resolved 2084 complaints related to other human rights issues, such as prisoners’ rights and the rights of seasonal workers.
Te Rito is an annual collection of 25 cases handled by the Commission in the past year. “These cases show most complaints of unlawful discrimination that come to the Commission – whether they involve one individual or a group – can be resolved with the Commission’s help. Very few cases end up going on to court,” says Chief Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan.
Over the past year, the Commission closed almost 75 per cent of complaints within 60 days and 96 per cent within a year. Only a small number of complainants went on to seek legal representation from the Commission’s Office of Human Rights Proceedings to take their case to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.
Of the 25 cases in Te Rito, there are claims of discrimination based on race, disability, age, ethical belief and sexual orientation. Some of the cases involved the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, with one settlement including a payout of $10,000 for emotional harm.
To view a copy of Te Rito, visit the resources section of the Commission’s website or download here (PDF 550kb).