Mixed report card for NZ’s human rights record in Geneva
New Zealand received a mixed reception from the UN Committee responsible for oversight of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) when it met in Geneva in March. Chief Commissioner David Rutherford and Chief Legal Advisor Janet Anderson-Bidois attended the review as did a significant number of New Zealand NGOs in person, or by video conference. Justice Minister Andrew Little led the State Delegation and addressed questions from the Committee on the Government’s action on policies and legislation, which would ensure all New Zealanders had access to equal economic, social and cultural rights. Read More.
World Down Syndrome Day - a chance to change attitudes
Changing attitudes towards disabled New Zealanders is critical, Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says, and she aims to do it. “Attitudes towards disabled people remain at best indifferent, and at worst, discriminatory. These attitudes underpin how disabled New Zealanders are treated and valued for their contribution to society,” says Paula. “Changing them is so much more than just a ‘nice to do’. It’s critical.” Paula points out that 42 per cent of disabled young people aged 15-24 are not engaged in education, employment or training, and the overall unemployment rate of disabled people is more than twice that of non-disabled. Read More.
Race Relations celebrated throughout New Zealand
Race Relations Day captured the imagination and participation of many New Zealand communities this year, with more than 35 events in centres from Invercargill to Northland. And despite the “day” in the title, celebrations of diversity extended from February to May.Dame Susan Devoy was at many of them, including high-profile events at Government House in Auckland and a peace march in Wellington, and will finish up with the national finals of the Race Unity Speech Awards in May. Read More.
Ka whakanuia te whakawhanaungatanga-ā-iwi puta noa i Aotearoa
Ko te Rā Whakawhanaungatanga-ā-iwi tērā ka titia ki te mahara i te mahi a ngā tini hapori o Aotearoa i tēnei tau, arā, i ngā kaupapa e 35, nuku atu, mai i Muriwhenua tae atu ki Murihiku. Nā, ahakoa te kupu ‘rā’ nei, ka haere ngā mahi whakanui i tō tātau kanorautanga i te Huitanguru ki te Haratua. I tae atu a Kahurangi Susan Devoy ki te maha o ēnei kaupapa, pēnei i te hui nui i tū ki te Whare o te Kāwanatanga ki Tāmaki Makaurau me te hīkoi mō te marie ki Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara. Ka mutu āna haerenga ki te whakataetae mō ngā Whaikōrero Whakawhanaunga-ā-iwi hei te Haratua nei. Read More.
Advocating for women’s rights at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62)
In March Commissioner Jackie Blue joined some 8000 women advocating for women’s rights at the UN in New York. “It was a privilege,” Jackie says of her time at the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62), discussing the challenges and opportunities to achieve gender equality. “And it was amazing to hear what other governments and NGO’s are doing around the word to work towards gender equality. This year’s theme was Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls. Read More.
Historic conviction quashing Bill passes
Earlier this month, the Commission welcomed the passing of the Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill. The Bill, which was introduced by former Justice Minister Amy Adams in 2016 and picked up by current Justice Minister Andrew Little, was unanimously supported by all parties in Parliament and will allow men convicted of historical homosexual offences to have them wiped from their records. Homosexuality was a crime in New Zealand until the 1986 Homosexual Law Reform Act was passed. The Act legalised consensual sex between men. It was never illegal for women in New Zealand to have same-sex relationships. Read More.
We hope that you have enjoyed this edition of Tūrangawaewae.