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Making Human Rights a Reality for Disabled People – Te Whakatinanahia i ngā Tika o te Hunga Hauā Chief Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan, & Manager External.

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Presentation on theme: "Making Human Rights a Reality for Disabled People – Te Whakatinanahia i ngā Tika o te Hunga Hauā Chief Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan, & Manager External."— Presentation transcript:

1 Making Human Rights a Reality for Disabled People – Te Whakatinanahia i ngā Tika o te Hunga Hauā Chief Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan, & Manager External Relations Shae Ronald December 2010

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3 Human rights are about dignity, equality and security for everyone, everywhere, every day.

4 International Human Rights Laws UNIVERSAL DECLARATION ON HUMAN RIGHTS International Covenants on: Civil and Political Rights Economic, Social and Cultural Rights UN Conventions on: Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination Elimination of Discrimination against Women the Rights of the Child United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

5 Human rights are about … How we live together Our responsibilities to each other Relationships between individuals, groups and the State / between the governed and those who govern

6 Human Rights Commission Major Functions Advocate and promote respect for, and an understanding and appreciation of, human rights in New Zealand society Encourage the maintenance and development of harmonious relations between individuals and among the diverse groups in S.5(1) Human Rights Act 1993

7 Human Rights Commission Major Functions Advise on and monitor equal employment opportunities Provide an enquiries and complaints service

8 Human Rights Commission Powers Make public statements Provide information, education, programmes and activities Inquire into any human rights matter Appear in, bring proceedings, or intervene in Court or Tribunal proceedings Report to the Prime Minister on any matter affecting human rights S.5(1) Human Rights Act 19

9 Human Rights Commission Human Rights in New Zealand Today 2010 key issues for disabled people Responsibility to monitor implementation of the Convention on rights of persons with disabilities with Convention Coalition & Ombudsmens Office Establishment of a full-time Disability Commissioner

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11 Examples of disability rights Issues at the Commission Accessible transport Safety in schools Right to education Freedom of expression Reasonable accommodation Non-discrimination

12 Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities Persons with disabilities not viewed as objects of charity, medical treatment and social protection, instead as subjects with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent, as well as being active members of society

13 Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities Designed to increase the visibility of people with disabilities, ensuring a more just and inclusive society in which they enjoy the same rights as everyone else Monitoring and implementation – Nothing about us without us Government required to report on compliance (first time in Feb/March next year)

14 Enquiries and Complaints It is against the law to be discriminated against on the grounds of disability in many areas of public life, including in work, education, official practice and policy and the provision of goods and services. The Commission can also consider broader human rights issues. Ground + area + disadvantage = discrimination

15 Enquiries and Complaints HOW? Free, confidential Infoline Service , online complaint form or letter NZSL sign language interpreter Relay service WHAT HAPPENS?

16 Case Studies Helen Helen started work at Janes factory. She had a history of mental illness which she did not disclose at interview. After six months, Helen required treatment and hospitalisation. She provided a medical certificate for Jane, and Jane reacted by firing her for lying in the interview and not disclosing her mental illness. At mediation, Jane learned that Helen did not have to disclose her mental illness unless she thought it would prevent her from carrying out her work satisfactorily. Jane apologised for handling the dismissal badly. Helen received some compensation for lack of process. Helen returned to work but after a few weeks felt she could no longer work there and left, but this time on her terms.

17 Case Studies Zoe Suzie and Daves daughter, Zoe, has Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Suzie and Dave claimed that Zoes special needs were not met by her school and this led to Zoe being suspended and, eventually, unlawfully excluded. They were frustrated that the school was unwilling to involve some of the experts who were working with Zoe. They considered that the school did not follow good practice for managing the behaviour of autistic children. The school considered that it did everything possible to accommodate Zoes needs. In the end it felt the safety issues could no longer be ignored. The parties met for mediation. The matter did not resolve at the mediation but the parents and the school continued their negotiations.

18 Case Studies Zoe continued: The matter was settled with the following outcomes: an apology from the school Board to Zoe and her parents the Board with input from the Ministry of Education agreed to review its policies, practices and procedures relating to special needs students the Board agreed that all parents of students with special needs at the school would be given updated policies and procedures developed as a result of the review the Board agreed to use its school newsletter to advise its community of the steps it has taken to address the needs of special needs students

19 Recent Initiatives

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21 Commission contacts Infoline (toll free) text: TTY


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