Agenda Item 6: Universal periodic review
Statement by: International-Lawyers.Org and Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ)
4 July 2019
Merci, Monsieur le Président.
We welcome the UPR report on New Zealand and congratulate the progress made by the Government in policies and practices in relation to the promotion of gender equality, the implementation of initiatives to ensure the participation of women in leadership positions, and the improvement of the socioeconomic situation for indigenous peoples.
Despite the official efforts towards the implementation of recommendations from the previous cycle, we remind the Government of New Zealand of the need to address the high incarceration rate, in which Māori people are disproportionally represented in detention centres, and at every stage of the criminal justice system, both as offenders and as victims.
We also note that New Zealand has a serious problem with gender-based violence, with intolerably high levels of family violence. As mentioned in the report, one in three women endured physical, emotional or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime. Worse still, Māori women, women with disabilities and young women are more likely to be victimized.
EAFORD and Geneva International Centre for Justice strongly recommend the New Zealand Government to:
- Eradicate discrimination against Maori, by tackling social inequalities experienced by Māori people in health, housing, employment, education and access to justice; and
- Take concrete steps in addressing sexual and domestic violence against women, by guaranteeing that all victims benefit from protection and have access to medical and legal aid.