Violence against women and children a major problem for NZ

Violence against women and children a major problem for NZ

March 3, 2016

UPDATE: You can read Chief Commissioner Rutherford's full statement here.


In just over two weeks Chief Human Rights Commissioner, David Rutherford will present to the UN Human Rights Commission as part of New Zealand’s 6th periodic review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). 

The full HRC report can be accessed here. A couple of key excerpts from the report follow: 

Violence and abuse and the discrimination and inequalities experienced by some New Zealanders remain the most significant human rights issues. 

Most serious violence against children is family violence. While there has been some good progress, the level of family and sexual violence in New Zealand is unacceptably high. New Zealand has the fifth worst child abuse record of 31 OECD countries. 

Despite the many efforts of communities and successive governments, discrimination, social and economic exclusion and entrenched inequalities remain a reality for certain groups of people living in New Zealand.

 Those affected include women, children, disabled people, Māori, Pacific people, migrants and refugees, older people, and other minority groups. Poor people, most notably poor Māori, Pacific people, and disabled people are the most seriously affected. 

This is evident in material deprivation and incarceration rates, education achievement levels, low levels of participation in work, low incomes, poor health and inadequate housing. 

The OECD Economic Survey on New Zealand notes:

“New Zealand has generally done well in enabling economic and social participation of its people. 

Yet, as in many other countries, income inequality and poverty have increased, rising housing costs have hit the poor hardest, and the rate of improvement in many health outcomes has been slower for disadvantaged groups than for others. 

Gaps in education achievement have narrowed, but the influence of socio-economic background on education achievement has increased. 

Of particular concern are those New Zealanders who face persistently low incomes, material hardship and poor long-term outcomes across a range of dimensions. 

While Māori and Pasifika are less than a quarter of the population, they are significantly overrepresented in these groups.”

Dig Deeper:

You can read the rest of the March edition of the Turangawaewae newsletter here.

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Tūrangawaewae is the Human Rights Commission's newsletter. You can read our latest newsletter here.

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