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Human Rights Commission supports business leaders’ stand

Human Rights Commission supports business leaders’ stand against racism

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt has praised the business leaders who are taking a public stand against racism in the workplace.

A group of New Zealand business leaders today published an open letter (www.nzstandtogether.co.nz) calling for a more inclusive country following the Christchurch mosque attacks on 15 March.

I applaud the business leaders who have signed the open letter for speaking out today and giving nothing to racism, Mr Hunt said.

"It's up to all of us to stand up to racism. Our employers have a crucial role in making sure workplaces are safe and inclusive environments free from discrimination in all forms.”

The group made a joint commitment to further their actions and accountability. As signatories to the open letter, they wrote that they will actively commit to:

• Creating a culture where words, behaviours and systems that directly or indirectly discriminate against people are not tolerated. This will require an open culture enabling all their organisation’s people to be empowered to speak up when they see casual and systemic discrimination, in a way that supports learning.
• Supporting their people by giving them access to training, tools and techniques to help them understand what actions and behaviours support – and do not support – inclusivity.
• Continuously reviewing and updating their organisational-wide processes, such as recruitment, to ensure they remain relevant and promote the diversity and difference needed for organisations, and society to thrive.
• Celebrating and acknowledging the value of all aspects of diversity and difference in their organisations.

“The message these business leaders are send is an important one. Tackling racism requires all of us to step up. These business leaders promise to be champions of change in our community."

In 2017 the Human Rights Commission launched it's Give Nothing To Racism campaign. The campaign asked Kiwis to acknowledge that racism and prejudice starts small and it needs their support to survive. The campaign encourages people to address small acts of racism that people often let slide.

"I hope other New Zealand businesses get on board with this initiative and work to ensure their workplaces are inclusive, and free from discrimination and racism," said Mr Hunt.

Organisations can become a signatory to the letter by emailing signup@nzstandtogether.co.nz or joining up at www.nzstandtogether.co.nz.

Ends

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