Indigenous groups suffer from higher rates of violence against women

Indigenous Women

From 18 to 20 January 2012, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) held an International Expert Group Meeting at UN Headquarters entitled “Combating violence against indigenous women and girls: Article 22 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” This conference applied a human rights framework to the issue of gender‐ based violence faced by indigenous women, while contextualizing its global manifestations in the context of States’ responsibilities under international human rights law, as articulated in Article 22.2 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP): “States shall take measures, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, to ensure that indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination.”

Focusing especially on issues of policing and jurisdiction, as well as outlining anti‐violence strategies, the experts sought to articulate a holistic approach to addressing violence against women that recognizes indigenous peoples’ ongoing struggles for self‐determination in the face of multidimensional discrimination and socioeconomic disadvantages. The panel characterized violence against indigenous women and girls as a pervasive form of human rights abuse, while drawing attention to the contemporary and historical contexts of indigenous communities and identifying steps towards the enhancement of their capacities and rights. More

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