Father lodges human rights violations complaint against government with UN
A father-of-two has laid a complaint with the United Nations alleging a judge’s decision barring him from taking his children out of New Zealand to visit their dying grandfather violates their human rights.
The man, an American who cannot be named under New Zealand Family Court rules, laid the complaint on Thursday under the Human Rights Complaint Procedure at the UN after a six-year international battle for custody of his children.
The family moved to New Zealand in July 2010 under the agreement that they would remain here for three years, but six months into the move he and his wife split. The children were ordered to remain in New Zealand under the Hague Convention, the man said.
“My grievance is with the court system and Parliament because they have implemented a violation for human rights for families. There is a systemic issue with the New Zealand Family Court system, and I would desperately love not to drag it through the press.
“Filing the complaint with the UN becomes my last alternative. I have tried to work with the political and judicial system and it’s fallen on deaf ears. I don’t think it does anything for getting my children home, other than raise whether there was a human rights violation.”
The basis of the man’s complaint is that a High Court order preventing him from taking the children to the US did not seriously take into account their cultural heritage. The family had no links to New Zealand before moving here in 2010.