New Zealand has become increasingly multicultural and continues to accept a large number of migrants every year. This adds a duty on its legal system to ensure that its current laws can protect minority groups and adequately deal with culturally specific issues that arise due to different cultural norms. Many argue that the current legal system fails to provide adequate protection for girls and women from an Asian, African and Middle Eastern (AAM) origin; this is due to a lack of multicultural consideration and the addressing of specific issues linked to these ethnic groups. One such issue is the problem of forced marriages among AAM communities
living in New Zealand. This article argues that New Zealand’s laws and processes do not
adequately protect women of an AAM background due to a lack of specific laws and policies that can protect against culturally specific abuse. This argument is reached through the consideration of approaches and procedures through socio-legal methodology. This includes the review of governmental documents, semi-structured interviews with relevant organisations and experienced individuals in the field, case studies and independent research. I will conclude that there is a lack of cultural understanding within support organizations and public institutions regarding the forced marriage issues. Moreover AAM women are also not completely aware of their rights and the available support. Finally, I will provide some recommendations based on knowledge I have gained while conducting my research.
The report sets out information, findings and recommendations from data on all family violence homicides in the four years from 2009 to 2012, and from in-depth regional reviews of 17 family violence death events.
It goes beyond previous reports. For the first time, the pattern of violence has been included in the analysis of all family violence deaths, which better addresses the context in which these distressing events occur.This broader brush provides insights into the responses required to prevent future deaths.
The report suggests the family violence workforce needs to think differently if it is to respond effectively and safely to people living with family violence. It recommends improved family violence training, a stronger response to risk factors, and changes in legislation to better support those victimised by family violence.
Normalising or minimising family violence fails people who are at risk of being killed. The report advocates campaigning to encourage safe and effective interventions by friends, family, neighbours and workmates.
The Human Rights Commission is the lead agency for the coordination and development of the National Plan of Action for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (NPA). The preparation of the National Plan of Action is mandated by the Human Rights Act 1993.
The Act requires the Human Rights Commission to develop the NPA on behalf of New Zealand it is New Zealand’s plan, not the Commission’s plan. Therefore, a cross-agency and collaborative approach with the state sector, local government, Iwi, and civil society is essential.
The Plan will set out the concrete actions to be taken by the Government to improve human rights realisation and to action the commitments made to the United Nations as part of the Universal Periodic Review1. These commitments were included in the response to the United Nations and were Cabinet mandated.