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

 

Breach of human rights highlights need for right to privacy

20 December 2018

Breach of human rights highlights need for right to privacy protections

The findings from State Services Commission’s Inquiry into the Use of External Security Consultants shows the need for stronger protections to safeguard human rights, especially privacy says Chief Legal Advisor Janet Anderson-Bidois.

“The right to privacy is a fundamental human right. It is unacceptable for citizens to be subject to wrongful and unreasonable surveillance and other covert activity that breaches this right,” says Anderson-Bidois.

The right to privacy is guaranteed under Article 12 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and Article 17 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). In 1978, New Zealand agreed to be legally bound by the ICCPR. Although the Privacy Act provides protection for some privacy related rights, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 does not include a general right to privacy.

“The steps that have been outlined by the State Services Commission are a step in the right direction but the findings of the Inquiry indicate that we need stronger protections to safeguard human rights.”

“The absence of a right to privacy from New Zealand’s Bill of Rights is a clear gap in our human rights framework. It should be included. Amending the Bill of Rights to include privacy would help reinforce its importance as a core human right that must be understood, and adhered to, by public officials and their agents.”

Anderson-Bidois says the findings from the Inquiry are particularly disturbing as some of these activities were directed at claimants against the state. These include victims who were abused while in state care and who were attempting to seek justice through the Court system and individuals affected by the Canterbury earthquakes.

“We don’t expect to see behaviour like this in an open and democratic society that values fundamental freedoms and human rights. It’s important that those who work in the state sector understand their legal obligations and adhere to them when carrying out their work.”

The Human Rights Commission reiterated the need for the right to privacy, and other core human rights to be added to the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act during meetings in Geneva this month in the lead up to New Zealand’s Universal Periodic Review before the Human Rights Council early next year.

The Universal Periodic Review is a formal assessment of New Zealand’s human rights record by United Nations member states which happens every five years.

In her statement Acting Chief Commissioner, Paula Tesoriero, recommended that the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 be amended to incorporate all rights in the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, including the right to privacy and other human rights included in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights, which are also absent from New Zealand’s Bill of Rights.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Wage Cuts, And The Listener’s Demise

Various levels of across the board wage cuts – 10%? 15% ?- are being mooted for workers in some of our larger firms, in order to help the likes of Fletchers, Mediaworks etc survive the Covid-19 crisis. It is extraordinary that unions should be having to explain to employers (and to the public) just how unfairly the burden of such a response would fall. Basically, if you’re on a salary in six figures, a 10-15% haircut can still be worn fairly lightly. If you’re employed at or below the median wage, losing 10% of your income can be a hammer blow... More>>

 
 

Government: Seeking Infrastructure Projects


The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say...More>>

ALSO:


Police Commissioner: Christchurch Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Police acknowledge the guilty pleas in the Christchurch Mosque attacks prosecution that were entered in the Christchurch High Court today. The guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist ... More>>

ALSO:

Transport: $54 billion Investment In Draft GPS 2021

The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) 2021 on land transport confirms that the Government will invest a record $54 billion in its balanced transport policy over the next decade. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones

No doubt, last night’s defeat of abortion law reform provisions that would have created safe zones around abortion clinics will be portrayed, by some, as a victory for free speech. It isn’t. It was a victory for bigotry and intimidation directed ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National's Regulation Crusade

Lets step back in time now, to simpler days and to simple-minded solutions. So…. if National gets elected, landlords will once again be able to evict tenants at will, raise rents anytime they like, and ignore the need to install a healthy standard of heating in the homes they put out to rent. This promised ‘bonfire of regulations’ is being done in the name of cutting red tape... More>>

ALSO:

SMC - Expert Reaction: PF2050 Strategy

DOC has released a strategy to reach Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025. The predator-free goal focuses on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels