New Zealand Human Rights Commission report: response to Covid-19 Omicron variant put disabled people at risk
In April of this year an urgent inquiry was launched by the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, led by Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesorieri.
Their report found that the well-being of disabled people was put at risk by the New Zealand Government’s response to the Omicron outbreak. The Commission also commented that the Government responded positively and with urgency to some of the issues raised during the inquiry.
The report found that the move to the Traffic Light System (the Covid-19 Protection Framework) resulted in reduced public health protection and highlighted the crucial need for the use of effective and appropriate mitigation methods.
Submissions to the inquiry shared a range of concerns about the lived experiences of disabled people and their families during Omicron, many of which related to the lack of rights-based approaches in government planning. Disabled people’s organisations told the inquiry that even being involved in disability advisory groups did not guarantee that the views and concerns of disabled people and their families were listened to or acted upon.
Read the inquiry report here.
Watch a video summary of the inquiry report (with sign language) here.