1 May 2014

IHC files human rights complaint

10:36 am on 1 May 2014

IHC expects legal action against the Ministry of Education over the way school children with disabilities are treated will cost it hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Child drawing at school.


The charity has formally lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Review Tribunal demanding equal rights in schools for students with disabilities. It will argue Ministry of Education policy is flawed and discriminates.

Advocacy director Trish Grant estiamted the case would cost $350,000 but said it was a good investment.

"Disabled children are treated differently from other children. Some children don't get accepted at their local school, some children only receive a partial education and can only be at school when their teacher aide is there, some children don't experience full school life and are not able to go on camps.

"We're saying that this is not fair or just. Part 1A of the Human Rights Act is about discrimination and we're saying this group of young citizens of New Zealand are being discriminated against through government policy and the systems and structures it has."

Ms Grant said it was not an easy decision to follow through with lodging a costly complaint but she believed the public could see there was an injustice.

"It is a complex problem and it will require willingness to accept that there is a problem and a commitment to look at the details of what we consider to be flawed policy."

IHC says it will be presenting evidence from schools in its case and it expects its case to be heard later this year at the earliest.