(04) The purpose of this report

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The purpose of this report

Monitoring Human Rights in the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery reports on the human rights aspects of the Canterbury recovery. It focuses on the Canterbury earthquakes to raise awareness and understanding of the relevance of human rights in disaster contexts, and more generally in New Zealand. Through a primary focus on housing, it examines the impact of the earthquakes on interrelated human rights standards relating to health, accessibility, democratic rights and the role of the public and private sectors in giving full effect to these rights.

A core purpose of this report is to encourage influencers and decision-makers to apply a human rights approach to the recovery. This can be achieved by putting human rights principles at the centre of decision-making in civil emergencies, and more broadly, at the centre of the shaping of social, economic and development policy. The experience in Canterbury shows this is a way to reach better decisions for everyone, as well as better services both in the private and public sectors.


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