U.N. human rights experts say Canada must address violence against indigenous women.
July 31, 2015 U.N. human rights experts recently urged the Canadian government to address the issue of the increasing violence against indigenous girls and women
According to a report released by Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 2014, Canadian women are disproportionately subject to murders and abduction.
While speaking to journalists in Geneva about this, U.N. independent expert Anja Seibert-Fohr said:
“One of the concerns that we have expressed is the disproportionate effect that women from indigenous communities are suffering with regards to murders and disappearances, and therefore the committee asks to take specific steps in order to deal with the root causes of this kind of violence and also to effectively investigate these kind of crimes,”
The Native Women’s Association of Canada, has reported over 600 cases of missing or murdered native Canadian women and girls between 2005 and 2010.
The U.N. Human Rights Committee, whose job is to regularly review and control the respect of civil and political rights under the International Covenant by its State parties, recently reviewed Canada and one of the members added that the state needs to do more to protect its women and girls.
“We ask the State party to urgently address this issue of these murdered and missing indigenous women, and we propose some measures, for example a national inquiry into this phenomenon, but also a review of the relevant legislation and also, within Canada, a more, a broader coordination by the police in order to prevent such murders and disappearances,”
The experts also expressed worries over the potential eradication of indigenous people’s land rights and titles.
“We are concerned about the very long disputes that indigenous have to undertake in order to ascertain their ownership and to benefit from their traditional lands and these disputes remain unsolved over a long, long period of time. There is also information that there is no regular consultation of indigenous people, this is of concern because currently there are lots of projects underway which may adversely affect indigenous communities and therefore we made the proposition to enact a consultation mechanism,“ Seibert-Fohr added.
The U.N. human rights experts also focused on allegations of human rights abuses committed by Canadian businesses located abroad, especially mining companies.