UN results show NZ has slipped back on child protection
The United Nations has given New Zealand 155 recommendations to improve its human rights conditions.
Many of the recommendations made by the Universal Periodic Review working group in January relate to domestic violence and child poverty.
In the previous review four years ago the group made only 64 recommendations.
Green Party human rights spokeswoman Jan Logie says the UN is sending a clear message.
‘‘New Zealand has lost ground when it comes to the protection of our women and children, and we must make improvements.
‘‘This is embarrassing, but it’s also a very timely reminder that the National Government needs to stop its systematic roll back of legislation that protects our most vulnerable.’’
Family Court reforms, welfare reforms, Immigration Amendment Act, New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Act were among law changes that have been singled out as regressive by experts, Ms Logie says.
‘‘Of course New Zealand has a lot to be proud of in terms of human rights.
‘‘Generations have fought very hard for the rights we have. It’s important that we honour those efforts by ensuring we keep progressing their visions and don’t lose any ground.’’
Key recommendations included establishing indicators to measure child poverty, strengthen plans to reduce child poverty and eliminate the gender pay gap.
Justice Minister Judith Collins has welcomed the recommendations saying the report was largely posi- tive. ‘‘The Human Rights Council recognises the investment this Government is already making to better support and protect victims of domestic violence,’’ she says.
Ms Collins will now gather New Zealand responses to the recommendations and present them to Cabinet.