NZ human rights report submitted to UN

  • Amy Adams

Justice Minister Amy Adams has submitted the Government’s latest report to the United Nations on civil and political rights in New Zealand.

Along with almost 170 other countries, New Zealand is required to periodically report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the country’s performance under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This is the sixth report New Zealand has provided since ratifying the Covenant in 1978.

Ms Adams says the Covenant covers a range of rights, such as freedom of religion, speech and assembly, electoral rights and the right to a fair trial.

“The report responds to specific issues raised by the Committee, and outlines significant developments in recent years related to domestic civil and political rights,” says Ms Adams.

“For example, it details measures and plans the Government has in place to tackle family violence, reduce child abuse, address the over-representation of Māori in the criminal justice system, and deal with human trafficking.”

Ms Adams said the report had been extensively consulted on with the wider New Zealand public and the feedback received had been considered as part of the final report.

“As an active player in the UN, we are committed to meeting our obligations under the human rights treaties to which we are party.

“New Zealand has a strong human rights track record, but we welcome opportunities to identify and address areas where there is room for improvement,” says Ms Adams.

New Zealand will appear before the Human Rights Committee to be examined on the report in 2016, after which the Committee issue concluding observations outlining any concerns and recommendations. 

The report is available on the Ministry of Justice’s website.