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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Lao PDR: Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination considers report of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
29 February 2012

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today considered the combined sixteenth to eighteenth periodic reports of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on how that country is implementing the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Introducing the report, Chaleun Yiapaoheu, Head of the Lao Delegation, Minister of Justice and Chairman of the National Committee on Reporting under the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, said 49 ethnic groups lived in Lao People’s Democratic Republic in peace and harmony, all equal under the Constitution. The Criminal Code now listed discrimination based on ethnicity as an offence. The National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy focused on rural development, reduction of economic gaps and relocation of people from remote areas to new villages. The Land Titling Project had produced tangible results that ensured all Lao persons had the right to own land. Equal employment opportunities for all ethnic groups were ensured, and people from smaller ethnic groups were given priority for jobs in most major development projects. Following anthropological research on ethnic groups in the country, the Government found that allegations of maltreatment and discrimination against the Hmong ethnic group were groundless, and aimed at destroying the good image and continued efforts by the Government to cooperate with the international community in the promotion and protection of human rights. More

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