Plenty left to do on human rights

Labour is backing calls to have a Parliamentary Select Committee take responsibility for overseeing and monitoring human rights issues.

“A just released three-year study into New Zealand’s track record on human rights, funded by the Law Foundation, makes uneasy reading,” Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“It offers some very good reasons as to why the Justice and Electoral Select Committee should take on an oversight role for human rights.

“Fault lines also rightly points out several areas where we haven’t just maintained the status quo, but have gone backwards. They include dropping the age of prosecution, closing the gender pay gap and child poverty.

“A suggestion that a more coordinated approach is needed to ensure New Zealand upholds not only the international conventions we have signed up to, but our own domestic commitments under the Human Rights Act and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, is more than sensible.

“We pride ourselves on defending international human rights, but we have to ensure that we are just as serious about doing so in our own back yard,” Jacinda Ardern says.