NZ failing to meet some human rights commitments - report

Source: 1News

Aotearoa is falling short of meeting its human rights commitments such as the right to food, education, and work, according to a new scorecard report.

Person helps person up (file image).

Data measuring the country's performance comes under the Wellington-based Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HMRI), which compares human rights performance across 200 countries.

The data placed New Zealand's score as "very bad" on the right to work and "bad" on the rights to both education and food.

The right to health received a score of "fair" and there was incomplete data for the right to housing.

The new scorecard figures were released publicly on Wednesday night.

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt said the Government had to improve outcomes for groups identified in the report as "at risk".

He said this included Māori, disabled people, LGBTQIA+ and low-income earners, including the homeless who suffered "high levels of human rights violations".

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt (file).

"While people from all backgrounds are experiencing human rights issues, the report shows that tangata whenua are most likely to suffer violations, including in key areas like the right to education and the right to healthcare, and are most likely to suffer arbitrary arrest."

“The Government has, through te Tiriti o Waitangi, a requirement to guarantee that the rights of tangata whenua are protected, yet this report shows us the Government is consistently falling short of this promise,” Hunt said.

The report showed Aotearoa's food security has grown worse every year since 2015.

Hunt said a national strategy was needed "that can guarantee the progressive realisation of the right to food".

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Saunoamaali'i Karanina Sumeo said "such a poor score" on the country's right to work performance reflected "huge issues with pay inequity based on ethnicity, gender and disability".

New Zealand performed better than average in its human rights to political participation, receiving an "empowerment score" for measures on the Government's respect for freedom of assembly, free expression, and the country’s levels of government participation.

Described as the "empowerment score", it looked at respected freedom of assembly, free expression, and the country’s levels of Government participation.