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Please support my UN submission

Filed under: General — Iain Fergusson @ 3:23 pm Fri 19th January 2018

Cover letter

I am writing to ask you to support my submission to the UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights. My concern is that men’s human rights issues are not being fully or accurately reported to the UN despite New Zealand’s obligation to do so. Examples of this are included my following submission.

The Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights accepts reports from non-governmental organisations and individuals for consideration before they make their recommendations. Your support is important because submissions that have wide community support have more sway and are treated more respectfully.

If my submission is successful the committee will make a recommendation that New Zealand must report both men’s and women’s issues equally. The government is then obligated to follow this recommendation and after the process is followed, men’s human rights issues should be included in our National Plan of Action. This will be a significant step forward in addressing men’s human rights and will support both our efforts to improve the lives of men in New Zealand.

To support my submission the least you could do is complete this boilerplate and send me a personal message. Passing this request on to other interested parties will also help.
For individuals:
I, [Your Name], [Your Occupation], of [Your City], New Zealand support this submission for the Committee to recommend New Zealand report men’s human rights issues in addition to women’s human rights issues.
If you represent an organisation.
[Your Organisation] of [Your City], New Zealand support this submission for the Committee to recommend New Zealand report men’s human rights issues in addition to women’s human rights issues.

To more fully support my submission in addition to the above declaration you could write a short letter detailing issues you face that could be resolved or improved by having more attention on men’s human rights.

Here is a brief explanation of the Covenant: The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) is part of our international human rights framework. The Covenant covers things like labour rights, social security, family life, standards of living, health, education, and participation in cultural life. Importantly, the covenant is based on the idea of ‘progressive realisation’ which means the rights in the covenant are treated as goals to work towards. Countries must be working towards the goals and not implement any measures that work against them.

More info can be found here:,_Social_and_Cultural_Rights

Full text of the covenant is here:

I hope you can find time among your current focus on achieving your organisation’s goals to support my goals to improve the health and well being of men in New Zealand. Unfortunately, time is not on our side with the deadline for submissions being February 15th. I would apprentice it if you could respond to me by February 12th.

Submission to UN ICESCR

Human rights can only be realised if they are protected and enforced. The human rights, health, and well being of New Zealanders rely on a having robust human rights framework. Identifying and improving weak points in our human rights reporting strengthens the whole system. Understanding what needs to be done, in the community, by the community, and for the community, comes from reporting full and accurate information.

New Zealand has not made full reports on both women’s and men’s human rights issues to the committee, violating article 3 of the covenant. For example, New Zealand has not fully reported on boy’s education, male domestic violence statistics and men’s health. We would like the committee to recommend New Zealand abide by article 3 of the convention and fully report human rights issues facing men in addition to the human rights issues facing women.

Boys education:

The third report to the Committee identified areas where boys are falling behind in education, although under the heading “Vulnerable and disadvantaged groups – Young women”. The fourth report limited discussion of educational achievements to Māori, Pasifika and disadvantaged students only, even though boys and men are still performing worse than girls and women at all levels. Gender equality in education is now an issue for boys and men. Currently, the NPA does not have any specific actions to address this educational disadvantage for boys and men.

Partner Violence
New Zealand has a problem with intimate partner violence. Both women and men are victims. The annual rate of intimate partner violence against men in 2015 was 4.4% (compared to 5.7% for women), making up 40% of the victims of intimate partner violence. New Zealand has not reported the number of male victims even though the source of their information contained these figures.1


There are also significant issues for men regarding health that should be reported to the committee.
Suicide is a particular problem for men. In New Zealand, men die from suicide at three times the rate of women. While our high rate of male suicide is recognised as a fact, there has been little attention paid to addressing male suicide specifically.2 3

Men also have high rates of injury. ACC and Statistics New Zealand report that men make up approximately three-quarters of injury claims. Incidents rates for injury claims have fallen slightly between 2002 and 2014. In 2014 men made up 94% of workplace fatalities.4

Additionally, “[f]or every $1 the Health Research Council spends exclusively on women’s health, 6c goes to men.”5

New Zealand has not reported progress toward gender equality for boys and men either. For example, since the 1st of January 2017 boys became eligible for free human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations, making the vaccination scheme gender equal. Girls have had them since 2008.6

The inclusion of men’s human rights issues was raised with the Ministry of Justice when they asked for feedback on a draft of their report. However, the final report does a poor job in reporting men’s human rights issues. The Ministry of Justice has not answered questions regarding reporting men’s human rights issues in the final report.

The lack of full reporting of men’s human rights issues has prevented the committee from considering the issues and deciding to make recommendations or not. With no recommendations from the committee there is no chance for the issues incorporated into our national plan of action, and progress to improve those issues suffers as a result.

We have faith that once these men’s human rights issues are fully included in the reporting, they will be addressed through current mechanisms and it will not be necessary for the people of New Zealand to raise individual issues with the committee.


  1. Hage Covention Case

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 24th January 2018 @ 7:07 pm

  2. @Iain Ferguson. There is no contact detials.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Wed 24th January 2018 @ 8:18 pm

  3. Iain, You have asked for support by 12 feb, but as DJ points out there are no contact details supplied to support your UN submission.

    Comment by voices back from the bush. — Thu 25th January 2018 @ 12:46 pm

  4. My apologies, I assumed there was a method to contact me directly through this site.

    My email is iain.fergusson (at)

    Comment by Iain Fergusson — Tue 30th January 2018 @ 2:06 pm

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