Govt accepts "vast majority" of UN human rights recommendations

Image: BriYYZ

The government has formally responded to the United Nations Human Rights Council second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of New Zealand, accepting the "vast majority" of the 155 recommendations. 

Convened by the UN General Assembly in 2006, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process involving assessment of all 193 member states' human rights conditions. The process allows each state to declare what actions they have taken to improve human rights conditions in their country and fulfil their human rights obligations. The UPR process takes place once every 4.5 years.

The actions taken by the New Zealand government following the first review in 2009 were presented by Justice Minister Judith Collins in Geneva on 27 January 2014.

Addressing violence against women and children was highlighted among the 155 recommendations made. Minister Collins said she was pleased other countries on the Council recognised the investment New Zealand was making in addressing family violence, citing the increased penalty for protection order breaches, the expanded definition of domestic violence, planned changes to domestic violence offender programmes, expansion of Safe@Home and the introduction of the Victims of Crime Reform Bill.

Minister Collins said "Nearly all countries commended our excellent human rights record and acknowledged the progress we are making in protecting women and children against violence, and recommended these efforts continue."

New Zealand’s National Report, which outlines New Zealand’s domestic human rights situation and steps the government has taken towards implementing the last UPR report in 2009, is published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. A compilation of UN information and its summary of stakeholders’ information is available on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights website.

New Zealand is due to provide an update of progress made on the recommendations in mid-2016.

Update:

The New Zealand Government's response to the 155 recommendations made has been published on the Human Rights Commission website.

Media:

New Zealand rejects international recommendations to address inequality, Amnesty International, 20.06.2014

NZ to build on strong human rights reputation, Beehive, 20.05.2014

Budget funding welcomed but prevention strategy a priority, Scoop, 16.05.2014

Image: Room XX, Palais des Nations by BriYYZ. Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic