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Discrimination and Human Rights

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Presentation on theme: "Discrimination and Human Rights"— Presentation transcript:

1 Discrimination and Human Rights
Human Rights Act Bill of Rights

2 What we’ll cover Summary of laws relevant to discrimination and human rights When discrimination is against the law What you can do about illegal discrimination

3 The Human Rights Act 1993 Bans certain kinds of discrimination
Applies to private sector (businesses, individual landlords etc) Establishes a complaints process

4 The NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990
Covers only government / public bodies Protects human rights, for example - no discrimination citizens can move around NZ freely freedom of religion, culture, language no unreasonable search, seizure or detention Various remedies developed by Courts

5 UN declarations & conventions
Three relevant UN documents – UN Principles for Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and for Improvement of Mental Health Care (1991) UN Declaration on Rights of Disabled Persons (1975) UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) Not directly enforceable in NZ

6 Discrimination by private organisations and individuals
It’s illegal when – You’re treated differently from other people Because of one of the grounds in the Human Rights Act In one of the areas of life specified in the Act

7 The illegal grounds of discrimination
They include “disability”, which includes – Physical disability or impairment Physical illness Psychiatric illness Intellectual or psychological disability or impairment Any other loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological, or anatomical structure or function Reliance on a guide dog, wheelchair, or other remedial means The presence in the body of organisms capable of causing illness

8 Areas of life covered by Human Rights Act
Employment Access to public places, vehicles and facilities Goods and services provided to the public Housing and accommodation Education Partnerships Qualifying bodies, vocational training bodies, and industrial and professional associations

9 Exceptions that allow discrimination
Private situations, such as – Jobs in private homes Shared accommodation as flatmates Positive discrimination Discrimination to help social groups who’ve been disadvantaged by discrimination Sometimes called “affirmative action”

10 Discrimination by government departments and other public bodies
Effect of Bill of Rights Illegal to discriminate on grounds in Human Rights Act Covers all conduct and activities of public bodies Exceptions for ‘justified’ discrimination and ‘positive’ discrimination Complaints go to Human Rights Commission

11 Direct and indirect discrimination
Two types, and both are illegal Direct – discrimination on the basis of one of the illegal grounds Indirect – conduct that seems to be neutral but has effect of discriminating

12 Who can I complain to? Both private sector and public sector can complain to the Human Rights Commission Complaint doesn’t have to be in writing Phone YOUR RIGHTS ( ) Complaint form at

13 What will the Human Rights Commission do?
The Commission – Will investigate Try to resolve the problem through mediation Can send your case to The Director of Proceedings and Human Rights Review Tribunal

14 The Human Rights Review Tribunal
A special court Deals with breaches of Human Rights Act, Code of Rights and Privacy Act The Tribunal can order the discriminator to, for example – stop discriminating pay you compensation

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