Human Rights Commission Asks NZ Police to Develop Trans Inclusive Policy

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“We all have the right to be free from discrimination and treated with fairness and respect,” the HRC says.  

The Human Rights Commission has written to NZ police, asking them to improve their processes for dealing with transgender people.

The intervention from the HRC comes after an incident in which a police officer broke a transgender woman’s ankle and addressed her with male pronouns.

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HRC Senior human rights adviser Vee Blackwood told RNZ that the incident was an example of what a recent report highlighted.

“A 2019 report showed that 42 per cent of trans and gender diverse people had reported that police knew their correct gender and pronouns but refused to use them,” Blackwood said.

Blackwood said it was ultimately up to NZ police to decide on how to respond to any issues but that the HRC recommended a change in culture and explicit rules around the treatment of LGBT people.

“It’s really important that police develop and implement policy that ensures correct names and pronouns are always used,” Blackwood said.

“We all have the right to be free from discrimination and treated with fairness and respect.”

A police spokesperson told RNZ that “respect and valuing identity are two of our core values.”

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