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Human Rights Commission supports anti-deportation petition

12 March 2020

A petition has been tabled in Parliament, calling on the New Zealand Government to expose Australia’s inhumane deportation policies during the 2020 UN review of Australia’s track record on human rights.

Petitioner, Filipa Payne was supported by the Human Rights Commission and Community Law Centres O Aotearoa and 211 others in the petition.

The Commission says Australia is being reviewed by the UN on its human rights record in October 2020.

“We’re calling on the Government to formally raise objection on the world stage to the harsh deportation and detention policies being carried out by Australia that mainly affect New Zealand citizens during this review,” says Filipa Payne. “They arrive in New Zealand sick, angry, sad, disconnected, with few housing and employmen

New Zealanders are now the second-largest nationality being held in Australia’s detention centres, making up 10.9% of detainees. Iranians make up the largest group, the Human Rights Commission says.

“There is a strong race discrimination component in these policies by the Australian government,” says Race Relations Commissioner, Meng Foon. “This discrimination begins in Australia and impacts on New Zealand, and disproportionately affects Māori, Pacific people and ethnic minorities.”

“We echo the concerns of the Australian Human Rights Commission, who have highlighted the discriminatory treatment of New Zealanders, while they are being processed through the Australian immigration detention system,” he says.

“I urge the New Zealand government to make strong recommendations to the UN when Australia’s human rights record is being reviewed later this year. These human rights issues must be addressed.”

Last updated on the 12th March 2020