Govt invites public comment on draft reports to UN
Tue 06 Jan 2015
The Government is seeking public comment on two draft reports prepared for the United Nations (UN), on the International Covenant on Civil and ...
The Government is seeking public comment on two draft reports prepared for the United Nations (UN), on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Ministry of Justice has released its draft sixth periodic report on New Zealand’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The Covenant covers a range of rights, such as freedom of religion, speech and assembly, electoral rights and the right to a fair trial. 170 States, including New Zealand, provide regular reports to the UN Human Rights Committee, which monitors implementation of the Covenant.
New Zealand's draft report responds to the Concluding Observations and List of Issues from the the UN Human Rights Committee. Measures the Government states it is developing to reduce violence against women include:
- "Home safety services
- GPS monitoring of high-risk domestic violence offenders
- A multi-agency response system for family violence
- Improving the timeliness of prosecutions
- Keeping the Government informed about victims' experiences, and
- Updating the Domestic Violence Act 1995."
The report also discusses the Police family violence response model, Police responses to adult sexual assault complaints, and family violence in the legal system.
The Ministry of Justice will hold consultation meetings in Wellington and Auckland with interested parties in early February 2015. The final report will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee in April 2015. The report will be officially considered by the Committee at a public session in late 2015 or mid-2016, with concluding observations made available to the international community.
The draft report and further details on consultation and the submission process are available on the Ministry of Justice website. Submissions close on 19 February 2015.
The Ministry of Social Development has released the fifth periodic draft report on New Zealand's implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC). UNCROC defines universal principles and standards for the status and treatment of children worldwide, overseen by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. New Zealand ratified the Convention in 1993 along with all United Nations member states except for the United States and Somalia.
New Zealand's two-part draft report outlines steps the Government has taken to improve outcomes for children, implement the articles of UNCROC, and address the 2011 Concluding Observations of the Committee over the reporting period (February 2011 to March 2015). A summary report is also provided.
Under child abuse and neglect, recommendations from the Committe included that New Zealand:
- Heighten public awareness of section 59(1) of the Crimes Act and continue to promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline in childrearing;
- Prioritise the elimination of all forms of violence against children, paying particular attention to gender;
- Provide information concerning the implementation on the development of a national comprehensive strategy to prevent and address all forms of violence against children;
- Provide information concerning the consolidation of a national system of data collection, analysis and dissemination, and a research agenda on violence against children;
- Establish mechanisms for monitoring the number of cases and the extent of violence, sexual abuse, neglect, maltreatment or exploitation, including within the family, in schools and in institutional or other care;
- Ensure that professionals working with children (including teachers, social workers, medical professionals, members of the police and the judiciary) receive training on their obligation to report and take appropriate action in suspected cases of domestic violence affecting children;
- Strengthen support for victims of violence, abuse, neglect and maltreatment in order to ensure that they are not victimized once again during legal proceedings;
- Provide access to adequate services for recovery, counselling and other forms of reintegration in all parts of the country.
The Ministry of Social Development will hold public consultation meetings in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in early February 2015. The draft report and further details on consultation and the submission process are available on the Ministry of Social Development website. Submissions close on 27 February 2015. The final report will be submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child by 5 May 2015.
Action for Children & Youth Aotearoa (ACYA) released their alternative report to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) in April 2016.