Human Rights Commission Agrees Men’s Rights are Important Too
Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford has emphasized that human rights for males are as important as those for women and other groups.
A meeting in December 2015 between Mr Rutherford and representatives of NZ men’s groups and services identified areas in which men’s human rights have been neglected in NZ. The meeting recognized that in the drive to improve rights for women and other groups traditionally seen as disadvantaged, men’s welfare has been forgotten.
At a follow-up meeting in February 2016 plans were considered to include men’s issues in future reports to the UN about New Zealand’s human rights record.
Spokesman for one of the groups involved, Hans Laven from community group the Ministry of Men’s Affairs (MoMA) described the meetings as “historic”.
“It’s reassuring that our HRC through Mr Rutherford has acknowledged that men and boys are in trouble as shown by high suicide and imprisonment rates, and that gender equity is as much a human right for men as for women” Mr Laven said.
Other men’s issues seen as needing attention included gender inequality in sentencing and treatment under our justice system and family court, gender-specific laws that disadvantage men, the provision of refuge and other support services for men, and the need to evaluate new laws for their impact on men’s rights and welfare as much as women’s.
Another men’s representative who attended, Craig Jackson, said that NZ has an opportunity to once again lead the world in addressing a neglected area of human rights for half the nation’s population, just as it did a century ago regarding women’s suffrage.