Universal Periodic Review

Recently New Zealand’s Human rights record was reviewed at the United Nations.
77 member states made 194 recommendations for things which could be altered and improved. Recommendations ranged from dealing with domestic violence to improving the rights of disabled people, and reducing inequality, especially for Māori.
Some countries called for improved protections for LGBTQI+ New Zealanders.
For example, Iceland recommended: “Add gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics as specifically prohibited grounds of discrimination in Article 21 of the Human Rights Act of 1993.”

Later this year the Minister of Justice, the honorable Andrew Little, intends to conduct a Ministerial review into the Human Rights act to incorporate recommendations made at the United Nations.
There have already been meetings with the Minister about the possibility of including gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics (the human rights term for people otherwise known as Intersex) into the Human Rights act, and provide legislative protection from discrimination.
The New Zealand public has until 5pm on the 13th of March to make submissions to the Ministry of Justice about the issues raised at the UN, which they personally feel most strongly about. This is the start of the process that can bring about positive change and real protection for Trans, including Non Binary, and Intersex people in Aotearoa.

With just 5 minutes, you can be part of making a massive difference for the legal protection of some very marginalised people, who often don’t get listened to.


The timeframe is tight, so we have developed this easy to understand information and 3 point submission guideline, so you can have your voice heard.

  1. This is a case where words matter, so please use this terminology to ensure best possible protection: gender identity, gender expression, & sex characteristics.
  2. Submissions are up to 500 words long – shorter than the number of words on this page. Do not go over the word limit or the submission may not be counted.
  3. Your submission can be as simple as saying “I wish to see substantial and unambiguous protection for gender identity, gender expression & sex characteristics,” or ”I want complete protection for all people’s gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics,” however you MUST say it in your own words, because a template submission received from 100 people is only counted as one submission with 100 signatures, rather than 100 submissions. Individual submissions make more difference.

The strongest addition you can make, on top of the above, is a short personal story that appeals emotionally, or shows why you personally care about this issue, or why it affects you or someone you care about.

If you only have 5 minutes right now, stop reading and make the submission!

Please your submission by using this online survey


UPR Submission


If you have time, you might like to read the recommendations document and include other aspects of the recommendations in your submission, which also help to make a stronger case. For example:

”Transgender and intersex people are some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable. I would like the New Zealand Government to accept the recommendations from the 2018/2019 UPR process that would strengthen protections and improve access to services for SOGISC (sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristic diverse) communities.

”I would like the New Zealand Government to accept recommendations providing for protection from discrimination and prosecuting hate crimes against SOGISC communities (122.41; 122.48; 122.50).

”I would like the New Zealand Government to accept recommendations asking for the Human Rights Act (1993) to be updated to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics (122.50; 122.51; 122.52).

”I would like the New Zealand Government to accept the recommendation that calls for an end to non-consensual medical procedures which affect intersex persons (122.102)

”I would like the New Zealand Government to accept recommendations that call for better access to health care for the SOGISC communities and other vulnerable groups (122.100; 122.101).
Read the full recommendations document here:
https://www.upr-info.org/…/sessio…/a_hrc_wg.6_32_l.1.pdf