The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted while the world remained deeply shocked by the atrocities committed during the Second World War, was an inspirational creation. ... It is hard to conceive of this document being adopted today. Like most other nations, New Zealand has succumbed to a kind of world-weary acceptance that full enjoyment of universal human rights remains a distant dream. Preface, Dame Silvia Cartwright, PCNZM, DBE, QSO
New Zealand is proud of its human rights record with good reason. It was the first country in the world to give women the vote and it played a prominent part in the establishment of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. New Zealand recently took a leading role in the creation of the world’s newest human rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. But just how good are things in practice? Are our governments living up to the promises they make when they ratify human rights treaties?
Human Rights in New Zealand is a comprehensive survey of the seven major international human rights treaties which New Zealand has signed and ratified, as well as the Universal Periodic Review. Based on four years of research, undertaken with the support of the New Zealand Law Foundation, this book concludes that significant faultlines are emerging in the human rights landscape. It sets out an agenda for change with recommendations for practical action.