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New Zealand launches world-first online tool to monitor rights progress

Graphic: A screenshot of the Commission's National Plan of Action online tool

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission has launched a world-first interactive online tool to monitor its government’s human rights record.

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission has launched an interactive online tool to monitor its government's human rights record.

The resource, which gives civil society groups and the public access to up-to-date human rights data, is the first of its kind in the world.

"We are holding our Government to account by monitoring its human rights actions and making everything publicly available," Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue said.

"Our online National Plan of Action is a powerful way to highlight human rights in our country by making it accessible and visible for every New Zealander," she said.

In 2014, New Zealand's human rights record was reviewed by the United Nations as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.

Some of the issues highlighted in the UPR, included the importance of:

  • Focusing on violence and abuse against women and children
  • Strengthening the human rights of New Zealand children
  • Reducing inequalities
  • Responding to the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes, and
  • Addressing the place of Maori New Zealanders in our criminal justice system.

New Zealand accepted 121 and rejected 34 of the recommendations. The National Plan of Action monitors the Government's action on the 121 recommendations it accepted.

Instead of publishing a lengthy report, the Commission instead chose to develop an online tool that could be accessed by anyone, at any time.

"Anyone can go online, see what the UN recommended we do and monitor what our Government agreed to do," Dr Blue said.

Kieren Fitzpatrick, Director of the APF secretariat commended the Commission for developing such an innovative tool.

"This approach will engage more New Zealanders in a conversation about the human rights issues that are important to them and allow them to track progress over time," he said.

"The more people there are monitoring progress, the more likely it is that progress will happen."

The National Plan of Action online tool is available at: http://npa.hrc.co.nz/.

Date: 20 July 2015


Image credits

  1. A screenshot of the Commission's National Plan of Action online tool - The New Zealand Human Rights Commission