21 Nov 2023

Focus on rainbow human rights protections and access to justice

11:06 am on 21 November 2023

Photo: AFP

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) is hosting a two-day conference in Auckland on human rights protections and access to justice for rainbow communities.

The conference - Te Kāhui Uenuku - taking place today and tomorrow will cover a range of issues, including the impacts of racism and colonisation on takatāpui and the rainbow community, recent research and human rights laws.

Senior human rights advisor Taine Polkinghorne said it was timely to celebrate the rainbow communities in response to increased incidents of online and offline harm.

"This conference is an opportunity for rainbow communities to support, learn from each other, and affirm their human rights in person, at a time when rainbow people in Aotearoa and around the world have reported increasing levels of feeling unsafe," he said.

The conference will also be looking at access to government services if rainbow people experience discrimination or harassment.

The HRC said it was investing in building the human rights and Te Tiriti o Waitangi capability of the rainbow sector - which is largely volunteer run and dependent on fundraising.

About 150 people have registered to attend the event.

The HRC said the conference was made possible through funding from the Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation, which aims to provide legal education for priority populations requiring access to justice.

The commission has matched this funding.

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