Canada’s failure to respond to the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is a “grave violation” of their rights according to a United Nations watchdog.
“This confirms what we shared with government representatives at the roundtable meeting on Friday”, said Congress of Aboriginal Peoples National Chief Betty Ann Lavallée about the report of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). “It says Canada’s police and justice systems have failed to protect Aboriginal women and girls from violence or hold perpetrators accountable and we know that is a big part of the problem our women are facing.”
According to a CEDAW statement, “despite the seriousness of the situation, the Canadian state has not sufficiently implemented measures to ensure that cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women are effectively investigated and prosecuted.”
“Canada must act. We have told the government that action is needed, others have told them and now the UN is telling them. Our justice system is failing Indigenous women and girls and we won’t rest until there is justice,” said the National Chief.
The report released by CEDAW March 6, notes that Canada’s failure to address the crisis facing Indigenous women and girls violates the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and recommends 38 actions Canada could undertake that could be taken, including the establishment of an independent national inquiry.
“The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples called for an inquiry at the roundtable meeting last week, as well as other actions echoed in the CEDAW report”, said National Chief Lavallée. “It is urgent that we move on all of these calls for action,” she concluded.