Wellington , July 7 2019
Minister of Justice Andrew Little and the Labour-led government are to be congratulated for their principled and measured stance on the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 194 recommendations for New Zealand to improve its human rights record as part of its five-yearly Universal Periodic Review (UPR) says feminist group Speak Up For Women (SUFW).
The govt announced on Thursday last week that it had accepted 160 of the UN’s 194 recommendations and noted the remaining 34 as future areas where reform is needed. SUFW is pleased to see that improvements to justice and health in regards to Māori, the rights of children, and the rights of women have been made top priorities, says spokeswoman, Ms O’Brien.
The group acknowledges that gender identity activists will be disappointed by the announcement, however, Ms O’Brien said that SUFW challenges these activists to identify the human rights that they are currently deprived of. “Trans people have all the same human rights as anyone else in New Zealand. It’s not clear to us what further protections are needed,” she said.
“Among the 194 recommendations from the UN there were some pressing issues that thankfully the government agreed need to be urgently addressed, such as poverty, discrimination against Māori in the health and justice systems, and sex-based inequality,” Ms O’Brien said. “When gender identity protection comes up for consideration we urge the government to ensure it does not undermine the existing sex-based protections for women.”
Media contact: Jenny Whyte
About Speak Up For Women
Speak Up For Women is a diverse group of ordinary New Zealanders including teachers, academics, health professionals, care workers, activists, lawyers and students with a shared interest in the rights of women and girls.