Ms Noonan is the Director of the New Zealand Centre for Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice. She also works with national human rights institutions across Asia and the Pacific and advises governments on the establishment and strengthening of national human rights institutions. She was New Zealand’s Chief Human Rights Commissioner from 2001 to 2011. During that time she chaired the global body of national human rights institutions for two years (2010-2012). In 2018 she was appointed as the chairperson of the Independent Panel reviewing the family justice services as they relate to the Care of Children Act 2004.

Ms Noonan has played a considerable role in paving the way to the establishment of the Royal Commission, including while she was Chief Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission. She will reflect on the efforts that were made while she was Chief Commissioner to bring the issue of abuse in care to the attention of the wider New Zealand public and the Government, and since. Ms Noonan will outline why she became convinced that a Royal Commission, an independent inquiry of the highest status, was essential to identify and acknowledge the extent of damage done to many children and vulnerable adults who were taken into State care and the impact of their experiences of care on them, their families and their communities. She will explain the need for a Royal Commission to ensure redress for the survivors and to hold accountable those responsible for failing to ensure protection for children and vulnerable adults in the State’s care and failing to take appropriate action when knowledge of the abuse became known. She will also explain the relevance and importance of the international and New Zealand human rights standards to the issue of abuse in care.

Presentation starts at 18:00

Statement of Rosslyn Noonan

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