Over the past 30 years, at least 1,200 indigenous women and girls have been murdered or have disappeared in Canada. In December of 2015, after considerable domestic and international pressure, the Canadian government said it would launch Canada’s first national inquiry into the issue. Six human rights experts from the UN and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) have asked the Canadian government in its inquiry to address the “root causes of the extreme violence and discrimination against indigenous women and girls in the country.” The IACHR and other rights organizations have criticized Canada in the past for the country’s failure to investigate the missing and murdered indigenous women, as well as the government’s failure to protect the human rights of all indigenous women and girls.
The experts who met with high-level Canadian officials on February 1, 2016, included two members of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Barbara Bailey and Ruth Halperin-Kaddari; the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Dubravka Šimonović; the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz; and the Chair of the IACHR, James Cavallaro.
Compiled from: UN rights experts call on Canada to address violence against indigenous women, Jurist (February 2, 2016); Canada must address root causes of extreme violence and discrimination against indigenous women – Rights experts, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights News (February 1, 2016).