A move to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time in the Census and the proposed changes to the standards for sex and gender will help ensure healthcare services, education providers and workplaces are better placed to serve their rainbow communities, Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt says.
Stats NZ committed last week to including the questions in the next Census in 2023 and announced that it is seeking feedback on proposed changes to the statistical standard for sex and gender identity.
Hunt said having data about people in New Zealand with diverse sexual orientation and gender identity was crucial for ensuring their human rights were upheld and allocating public resources fairly.
“The lack of data collection has been raised by community advocates and the Human Rights Commission for many years. Human rights cannot be monitored without good data.”
Earlier this month the Commission published the “Prism” report which found that people of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or sex characteristics (SOGIESC) continue to suffer from discrimination when it comes to basic human rights like access to quality healthcare, education and work.
“This data will ensure healthcare services, education providers and workplaces are better placed to serve their rainbow communities,” said Hunt.
“Everyone has the right to participate in the development of policy and practices which affect their lives.”
The proposed changes are part of a review to make sure the final standards work well for New Zealand and provide guidance for people and organisations that collect and use data about sex and gender. Submissions are now open and close at 5pm on 13 August 2020.