Human Rights Commission is backing the calls by dairy store operators and other retailers frustrated with the unabated rise in ram raids and retail crime.

Recently, Sunny Kaushal, Chairman of the Dairy and Business Owners Group, met with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo, in Auckland on July 19, raising concerns that the basic human rights of their members and small business operators were being curtailed by the rising “crime crisis.”

Speaking with the Indian Weekender, Kaushal said, “It was an honour representing about 5000 small businesses in a face-to-face meeting with the Human Rights Commission, a range of issues were tabled with the EEO Commissioner, including Human Rights, well-being, safety and future of the small businesses in NZ who are heavily owned by ethnic migrant minorities.

“They remain highly vulnerable as they have invested all their savings and their lives into their businesses. They are not super rich as widely assumed, and their human rights to operate [and trade freely without any fear] are being curtailed.”

Accepting the memorandum presented by Kaushal on behalf of the Dairy and Business group, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo, supported the concerns raised by staff and dairy store operators about the continued sense of fear amongst them because of rising ram raids and retail crime.

“Our local dairies are essential services, primarily family-owned businesses; many are owned by settled migrants or their next generations. Lots of our petrol stations are also small businesses, staffed by few workers also deemed essential,” the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo, said.

 “Sunny Kaushal, Chairman of the Dairy and Business Owners Group, shared the many struggles facing these whanau and businesses. It’s not right that these workers and whanau are constantly on edge in fear of being attacked, some already suffering from trauma – with limited means and time to heal and protect themselves.

“We all have fundamental rights to be safe in our workplace, live free from violence and discrimination, have equal protection under the law, and have access to justice,” Sumeo said.