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NZ College of Midwives Welcome Draft Human Rights Report

The New Zealand College of Midwives Is Welcoming Justice Minister Judith Collins’ Release of a Draft Report On the Current Position of New Zealand’s Human Rights

The Minister is encouraging public comment and the opportunity to participate in constructive and meaningful dialogue about domestic human rights in New Zealand, via the draft Universal Periodic Review report mechanism of the United Nations (UN) and the Human Rights Council (HRC).

New Zealand College of Midwives CEO Karen Guilliland, says this is a good opportunity for people to contribute meaningfully on important issues around women’s rights related to maternity.

“Pregnancy and childbirth are significant events in the lives of women and their families and represent a time of great vulnerability. As midwives working in partnership with women we recognise the importance of gender equity and work to protect women’s rights in pregnancy and childbirth, the right to respect, autonomy and dignity, and the right to fully informed decision making,” she says.

Guilliland adds that issues of gender equity and gender violence are also at the core of maternity care concerns and the College appreciates the Government’s acceptance of the United Nations/Human Rights Council recommendations to protect women against discrimination, and to reinforce the rights of women in the labour market.

“Expanding the notion of safe motherhood to include all aspects of maternity protection, including longer paid and more flexible paid parental leave is overdue,” she says.

New Zealand’s final report will be submitted to the UN in November and Ms Collins will officially present the report to a UPR Working Group of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva early next year.


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