(02) Human rights in the earthquake recovery

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Executive summary: Monitoring human rights in the Canterbury earthquake recovery
Tāhūhū Whakarāpopototanga

“Human rights don’t disappear the moment an earthquake, a hurricane or a tsunami strikes. We witnessed after the Indian Ocean tsunami, the earthquake in Haiti and many other disaster situations that during relief and recovery efforts the protection of human rights gains in importance as it can safeguard the dignity of those affected.”

United Nations Inter-Agency Standing Committee (2011) Operational Guidelines on the Protection of Persons in Situations of Natural Disasters

Human rights in the earthquake recovery

The Canterbury earthquakes have created human rights challenges on a scale seldom seen in New Zealand, particularly in relation to the right to adequate housing. They have also created challenges to the realisation of other basic human rights such as the right to health, the right to property, the right to education, and civil and democratic rights. This report examines the human rights challenges that have emerged during the recovery, and calls for human rights standards to be the essential foundation for a fair and just recovery. There have been many positive responses, but continuing to respond to the on-going human rights challenges is a key part of the recovery process.


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