Disability Issues Minister Tariana Turia is welcoming New Zealand's first report to the United Nations on implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
"The report illustrates that New Zealand is relatively advanced in its implementation of the Convention and considerable work has been achieved across all articles," says Mrs Turia.
"This report is extremely important in enabling us to measure progress in achieving New Zealand's vision of full participation and improved wellbeing for disabled persons and their families. It is a moment for us all to take stock of the work that has occurred, the gains made and the challenges yet to face.
"New Zealand's legislation outlaws discrimination but the challenge we all face is how to do this. How do we make the shift from a disabling society to an inclusive one? The answers lie in focusing on our attitudes and behaviors towards disabled persons.
Mrs Turia says to encourage change the Government is funding a community-driven social change campaign, which focuses on disabled people.
"New Zealand has already put in place measures to assist in the promotion, protection and monitoring of the implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
"The measures include the establishment of a full-time Disability Rights Commissioner within the Human Rights Commission, a protection and monitoring role for the Office of the Ombudsmen and resourcing a formalized role for disabled persons' organizations.
"This report will act as a baseline for future reports and will help inform improvements for disabled people in New Zealand," says Mrs Turia.
The report is due to be examined by the United Nations in late 2012 or in 2013.
A copy of the report can be found at www.odi.govt.nz/what-we-do/un-convention/monitoring-implementation/2010-report.html
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