Disability rights report highlights systemic inequities and opportunities for real change

17 Jul 2020 | Partners in Care

New Zealand has a mixed record when it comes to the rights of disabled people, according to a report from the New Zealand Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM) on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The IMM is made up of the Disabled People’s Organisations Coalition (an alliance of seven disabled people’s organisations) the Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Ombudsman. Its role is to monitor the implementation of the Disability Convention, which New Zealand ratified in 2008. This includes analysing legislation and policy, identifying priority areas for action, monitoring progress and reporting to government.

Making Disability Rights Real Whakatūturu Ngā Tika Hauātanga notes that although some things are done well, there is still a great deal of work required to remove barriers stopping disabled people from participating equally in society. It also highlights the experience of disabled Māori and Pacific peoples and says disabled people are a long way from enjoying the full range of human rights and fundamental freedoms included in the Disability Convention.

The report says many disabled people are experiencing poverty, exclusion and a lack of autonomy.

‘Eliminating these huge disparities requires a quantum leap. We need to move from compensating for an inaccessible society – founded on notions of disability as a deficit – to recognising disabled people as equal rights holders, by actively working to create fully accessible communities.’

Martine Abel-Williamson, a member of the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s consumer network and consumer advisory group, was one of a group of the disabled people involved in facilitating community engagement workshops over the past year to gather feedback, input and evidence for the report.

She says it’s disappointing the report has found issues such as a lack of accessible housing, health inequities and a lack of employment opportunities are still at the forefront of disabled people’s experiences in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Making Disability Rights Real, Whakatūturu Ngā Tika Hauātanga is the third report of the IMM on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is published in Word, Braille, large print, audio, te reo Māori, Easy Read and New Zealand Sign Language.

Disability rights report highlights systemic inequities and opportunities for real change

New Zealand has a mixed record when it comes to the rights of disabled people, according to a report from the New Zealand Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM) on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The IMM is made up of the Disabled People’s Organisations Coalition (an alliance of seven disabled people’s organisations) the Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Ombudsman. Its role is to monitor the implementation of the Disability Convention, which New Zealand ratified in 2008. This includes analysing legislation and policy, identifying priority areas for action, monitoring progress and reporting to government.

Making Disability Rights Real Whakatūturu Ngā Tika Hauātanga notes that although some things are done well, there is still a great deal of work required to remove barriers stopping disabled people from participating equally in society. It also highlights the experience of disabled Māori and Pacific peoples and says disabled people are a long way from enjoying the full range of human rights and fundamental freedoms included in the Disability Convention.

The report says many disabled people are experiencing poverty, exclusion and a lack of autonomy.

‘Eliminating these huge disparities requires a quantum leap. We need to move from compensating for an inaccessible society – founded on notions of disability as a deficit – to recognising disabled people as equal rights holders, by actively working to create fully accessible communities.’

Martine Abel-Williamson, a member of the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s consumer network and consumer advisory group, was one of a group of the disabled people involved in facilitating community engagement workshops over the past year to gather feedback, input and evidence for the report.

She says it’s disappointing the report has found issues such as a lack of accessible housing, health inequities and a lack of employment opportunities are still at the forefront of disabled people’s experiences in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Making Disability Rights Real, Whakatūturu Ngā Tika Hauātanga is the third report of the IMM on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is published in Word, Braille, large print, audio, te reo Māori, Easy Read and New Zealand Sign Language.

Last updated 17/07/2020