10 Unheeded Calls for a Canadian Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
4. Human Rights Watch
The day before last year's Women's Memorial Marches, one of the world's most prominent rights organizations released a devastating report accusing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police of systematically “failed to protect” Indigenous women and girls in British Columbia.
But most damning of all, the New York-based Human Rights Watch documented widespread allegations of gang rape and other sexual abuse, excessive force against girls, and other abuses of their power as the province's police force, in a region shamed by some of the highest concentrations of missing women in the country, and notorious serial killer Robert Pickton.
“Human Rights Watch researchers were struck by the fear expressed by women they interviewed,” the organization stated. “The women’s reactions were comparable to those Human Rights Watch has found in post-conflict or post-transition countries, where security forces have played an integral role in government abuses and enforcement of authoritarian policies.”
Its 89-page report, Those Who Take Us Away: Abusive Policing and Failures in Protection of Indigenous Women and Girls in Northern British Columbia, Canada, joined the demand for a national inquiry.
“The persistence of the violence indicates a need for a national public commission of inquiry,” said an HRW press release accompanying the report.
“The high rate of violence against indigenous women and girls has caused widespread alarm for many years,” the group said. “The eyes of the world are on Canada to see how many more victims it takes before the government addresses this issue in a comprehensive and coordinated way ... The Canadian government should establish a national commission of inquiry into the murders and disappearances of indigenous women and girls, including the impact of police mistreatment on their vulnerability to violence.”
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