- Key Focus Areas
- Enquiries & Complaints
- Human Rights
- The Treaty
- Race Relations
- Disabled People
- International & UN
- Office of Human Rights Proceedings
- This Wednesday – a day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
- Impressions of the New Zealand Diversity Forum: The Business of Diveristy
- First Impressions of the New Zealand Diversity Forum: Speeches from community leaders
- Queenstown taxi driver courageous – Human Rights Commission
- Emma Watson Gives A Powerful Speech at U.N. About Gender Inequality
- MORE NEWS
- Changing face of New Zealand should be reflected in mainstream media newsrooms – Race Relations Commissioner
- More woman at the top table means better outcomes for NZ
- Speech given by Chief Commissioner David Rutherford to Tenants Protection Association (Christchurch)
- More work to be done by New Zealand to fully realise the rights of the disabled
- Fair travel for support workers removes an existing injustice
- #RainbowLaces campaign against homophobia in football kicking off this weekend
- Board Members Wanted for Auckland Refugee Council
- Race Relation Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy’s opening speech at the New Zealand Diversity Forum, 24 August.
- HRC praises Auckland mum for speaking out about humiliating treatment
- Commissioner Jackie Blue’s address ‘Women’s rights are human rights’ to BPW Franklin
- Human Rights Commission condemns violent hate attack on gay Wellingtonians
- Human Rights Commission welcomes investment in Christchurch’s children
- Woman censured for using Kia ora should contact the Commission
- Dame Susan Devoy’s speech to open Islam Awareness Week: 18 August 2014
- The Right To Work: Young New Zealanders in South Auckland
- ALL NEWS
Mandatory group detention plans run counter to UN convention
The Human Rights Commission says proposed changes to the Immigration Act 2009 threaten New Zealand’s obligations under the UN Refugee Convention and potentially lack compliance with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.
The Immigration Minister announced amendments designed to deter a potential mass arrival of illegal migrants to New Zealand yesterday. The Commission is particularly concerned about:
- the introduction of mandatory detention under group warrants
- the restrictions on family reunification
- the changes to review processes.
Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres says New Zealand has obligations under the Refugee Convention that are separate and independent of the country’s voluntary quota of 750 refugees as part of its annual resettlement quota on behalf of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
New Zealand has obligations as a party to the Refugee Convention to:
- ensure that people who meet the United Nations definition of refugee are granted asylum
- not to impose any penalties on an asylum seeker based on their mode of entry to New Zealand (Article 31).
Mr de Bres says, “How an asylum seeker arrives in New Zealand should have no bearing on their right to apply for refugee status and protection.”
Mandatory detention on the basis of group warrants also raised issues of reasonableness and ultimately could amount to arbitrary detention breaching section 22 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.
Mr de Bres says, “Our international obligations under the convention are clear. New Zealand must protect the human rights of all asylum seekers and refugees who arrive in New Zealand, regardless of how or where they arrive, and whether they arrive with or without a visa.”
International guidance requires detention to be used only where necessary, as a matter of last resort and for the shortest periods possible. The proposed amendments seem to be at odds with international best practice and natural justice. The Commission will be making a submission on this bill through the select committee process.