Saturday, May 25, 2024

Justice Secretary leads delegation to UN torture committee

New Zealand Secretary for Justice, Andrew Kibblewhite, has led a delegation to the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Committee will examine Aotearoa New Zealand’s latest report under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The Convention requires countries to take effective measures to prevent torture and ill-treatment, to adequately address it when it happens, and to report periodically to the Committee.

The examination will review New Zealand’s compliance with the Convention over the past eight years.

New Zealand was last reviewed in 2015 and submitted its seventh report in 2019, which the delegation will speak to in Geneva. Examinations are part of the normal reporting cycle under our human rights treaties.

Mr Kibblewhite (pictured) said the examination was a valuable opportunity to undertake a stocktake of our human rights protections, and understand where New Zealand can make further improvements.

“Open and constructive engagement from New Zealand, as part of the robust dialogue with the committee, is important for accountability and transparency,” Mr Kibblewhite said.

“Ultimately, the aim of the examination process is to improve human rights in New Zealand.”

The New Zealand delegation, which will include representatives from other relevant Government agencies, fielded questions from the Committee over two days.

The Committee has also received submissions from New Zealand human rights organisations, including the Human Rights Commission, the Children’s Commission, and the Ombudsman, as well as non-governmental organisations.

“Input from these groups brings extra perspectives and improves accountability. We are grateful for their input into this process,” Mr Kibblewhite added.

After the examination, the Committee will make recommendations to New Zealand on how to better implement the Convention.

More about the Convention is available at: Convention Against Torture & Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment | New Zealand Ministry of Justice.

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