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  • Why do we need a National Action Plan on violence against women? | Amnesty International Canada
    Youth Activist 2015 Human Rights College for Youth Dance for Rights Human Rights College 2015 Planning Committee Member Application Lifesaver Actions for Young Activists Student Group Registration Form Youth Leadership Oppotunitities Join a group Community Activism Volunteer Leadership Fieldworkers Join our Membership Consultation Committee MCC Volunteers Wanted Nova Scotia University Orientation Week Country and Theme Coordinators in Canada The Board of Directors Resources for Activists Activism Fund Have your say Seasonal Activism Guide Meet our Team Work Volunteer Opportunities Donate Become a Monthly Donor Sign Up Online Your Donations at Work Amnesty Canvassers Telephone Canvassing Make a One time Donation Donate Online Leave a gift in your will Why we are remembering Amnesty in our wills Bequests RRIFs and RRSPs Life Insurance Contact our Planned Giving Associate Disclaimer Gifts of Stocks and Securities Give a Gift in Memoriam Send a Special Occasion Gift Raise Money for Human Rights Tips for Raising Money Fundraising Q As Donate a car Update your monthly donor information Join Us About Us What we do Key Facts about Amnesty International How We Make A Difference Our Leaders Our Impact Governance Financial Information Work With Us FAQ Members Thank You Contact Us Home Why do we need a National Action Plan on violence against women The scale and severity of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls requires a corresponding commitment by government to ensuring their safety Amnesty International has long called for a comprehensive coordinated national plan of action to address gaps in current policies programs and services involve Indigenous women s organizations in identifying the necessary solutions and ensure accountability in their delivery By Jacqueline Hansen Amnesty International s Major Campaigns and Women s Human Rights Campaigner By Craig Benjamin Campaigner for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples Implementation of a National Action Plan to end violence against women is also necessary to fulfill Canada s international human rights commitments In January 2007 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that called on all states to eliminate all forms of violence against women by means of a more systematic comprehensive multisectoral and sustained approach adequately supported and facilitated by strong institutional mechanisms and financing through national action plans The call for comprehensive sustained National Action Plans has been reaffirmed in subsequent resolutions Canada played a leading role in these UN resolutions calling for National Action Plans Canada is not exempt from the position which it has supported at the UN that all states should adopt National Action Plans to end violence against women The Native Women s Association of Canada the Assembly of First Nations and many other Indigenous and civil society organizations have called on Canada to adopt a comprehensive and coordinated National Action Plan to stop violence against women A National Action Plan should include A commitment to address violence against Indigenous women and girls on the basis of the protection and full realization of their human rights as set out in Canadian law and international human rights standards including the

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/blog/why-do-we-need-a-national-action-plan-on-violence-against-women (2016-02-13)
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  • Frequently asked questions about violence against Indigenous women | Amnesty International Canada
    is true for Indigenous and non Indigenous women alike The statistics published by the RCMP show that Indigenous women are 3 5 times more likely than non Indigenous women to be murdered by a spouse or family member and 7 times more likely to be murdered by an acquaintance These numbers are derived from the RCMP report but not published by the RCMP Regardless of the Aboriginal or non Aboriginal identity of the perpetrator or their relationship to the victim attacks on Indigenous women take place in a social context in which discrimination marginalization and impoverishment help put Indigenous women in harm s way deny Indigenous women the opportunity to escape violence or even encourage some men to feel that they can get away with acts of violence and hatred against them All of society has a responsibility to help stop this violence Haven t the police solved most of the murders The RCMP report shows that police deem the vast majority of murders of Indigenous and non Indigenous women to be successfully closed These figures may be misleading We acknowledge that when it is clear that a murder has taken place police in Canada generally do everything in their power to identify and build a case against whoever is responsible In our view the extremely high rate of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada means that police should also thoroughly investigate all suspicious deaths and disappearances whether or not there is immediate evidence of murder As we highlighted in our Stolen Sisters report there are concerns that this does not always happen Unresolved missing persons cases and suspicious deaths are not part of the RCMP statistics on solved cases On a deeper level even when a murder has been solved a life has still been lost and woman or girl taken from her family and community In addition to looking at whether the perpetrators have been caught we need to ask whether the deaths could have been prevented Don t governments in Canada already have many programs in place to address violence against Indigenous women Governments are obliged to make every reasonable effort to stop violence against women The standard is not whether governments are doing something but whether governments are doing enough Governments in Canada have taken positive steps such as the work by the RCMP to at long last compile official statistics the overall response has been piecemeal and inadequate The scale of violence threatening Indigenous women and girls requires a comprehensive coordinated response to ensure that they are not put at risk in the first place and to guarantee that Indigenous women and girls receive appropriate and effective help to escape violence wherever they live In a series of joint states issued in advance of the annual October 4th Sisters in Spirit vigils Amnesty International has joined with the Native Women s Association of Canada and many others in calling for comprehensive response that would include measures such as Training protocols and accountability measures

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/blog/frequently-asked-questions-about-violence-against-indigenous-women (2016-02-13)
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  • Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls: Understanding the numbers | Amnesty International Canada
    violence against that First Nations Inuit and Métis women and girls The latest numbers also underline what Indigenous women and advocacy organizations have long been saying that this violence requires a specific and concerted response from police and all levels of society The RCMP s release of official national police statistics confirming these previous estimates is an important and welcome step because such numbers are critical to inform and mobilize police and public response Unfortunately in the hands of some government officials and media commentators the new RCMP statistics have become not a source of clarity and a resource for action but an excuse for misrepresenting the reality of Indigenous women s lives and an excuse for continued inaction An incomplete picture The RCMP report does not tell us everything we need to know about violence against Indigenous women The release of this report is not a substitute for a national inquiry The RCMP report does not reflect the voices of affected families and communities Nor does it provide a vehicle for the consideration and implementation of the solutions that they have identified And even as a statistical picture of missing and murdered Indigenous women the RCMP report has important gaps that need to be acknowledged In its statistics on homicide the RCMP report only includes cases where the original investigating police force has concluded that a murder has taken place The report explicitly does not include unexplained and suspicious deaths Amnesty s own research has raised concerns that deaths of Indigenous women and girls are not always fully and properly investigated and that as a result some murders of Indigenous women and girls may have been wrongly classified as accidental deaths In addition police in Canada do not consistently record the Indigenous identity of victims of crime Statistics Canada reports that in 2009 for example police recorded failed to note whether the victims of crime were Aboriginal or non Aboriginal in 384 out of 610 homicides Some victims of crime are being inaccurately identified as non Aboriginal because police have not had proper training on why accurate identification is important and how it s to be determined The RCMP report acknowledges the unreliability of current police practices of determining Indigenous identity The report claims that a file review carried out over a period of several months established the Aboriginal or non Aboriginal identity of all but 95 homicide victims whose identity was previously recorded as unknown The RCMP did not review files to determine whether Indigenous women had been inaccurately recorded as non Indigenous The RCMP report also does not distinguish between First Nations Inuit and Métis women and girls As a consequence it does not provide any information on whether the homicide rate is the same or differs among these groups The report provides a number of statistics on the lives of the victims The nature of many of these statistics such as history of illegal drug use or involvement in illegal activities suggests an inappropriate focus on

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/blog/missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-and-girls-understanding-the-numbers (2016-02-13)
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  • Latest federal “action plan” on violence against Indigenous women short on “action" | Amnesty International Canada
    that puts Indigenous women and girls in harm s way or denies them the chance to escape this violence The federal Action Plan to Address Family Violence and Violent Crimes Against Aboriginal Women and Girls released September 15 includes a number of important and welcome initiatives including more money to support the families of missing and murdered women and the first effort to coordinate across departments the various federal programs for Indigenous women However rather than being a comprehensive national action plan in keeping with the scale and severity of the violence the initiatives announced by the federal government are largely a continuation of existing piecemeal and inadequately supported programs and approaches In 2010 the federal government announced an annual 5 million allocation for victim services community education and other initiatives directed at violence against Indigenous women At the time many organizations were critical of the government for committing such limited resources when Indigenous women and girls are going missing or being murdered in such large numbers Yesterday s announcement provides no new funding but simply shifts the balance in how these funds will be spent The most significant of these shifts is in support for victims and families Amnesty International welcomes the federal government s recognition of the importance of supporting the families of missing and murdered women in dealing with police and the justice system The announcement that 7 5 million will be allocated over five years for such work marks a small increase in funding It s unclear however exactly how the money will be spent or whether it is sufficient to meet the needs of families on a national basis The plan s allocation of an additional 7 5 million over five years to community based programs to end violence is even more clearly inadequate In the previous phase the federal government compiled a database of best practices in violence prevention programs The majority of programs surveyed cited inadequate or insecure funding as their primary barrier in delivering services to Indigenous women and their families The plan contains no new funding for on reserve women s shelters Currently the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development provides funds for only 41 shelters out of 633 First Nations The plan does not include the public inquiry called for by many Indigenous organizations family members of women who have gone missing or been murdered and human rights organizations Instead it relies on to the recent report by the Special Parliamentary Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women which concluded its work in March and the RCMP s report on violence against Indigenous women released in May Neither is a substitute for an independent national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women in which the voices of families and frontline workers can be heard and recommendations brought forward without political constraint The plan acknowledges that the economic marginalization of Indigenous women and families is a critical factor in putting Indigenous women and girls at risk but contains no specific

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/public-statements/latest-federal-%E2%80%9Caction-plan%E2%80%9D-on-violence-against-indigenous-women-short-on- (2016-02-13)
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  • Why is a national public inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women needed? | Amnesty International Canada
    Your Donations at Work Amnesty Canvassers Telephone Canvassing Make a One time Donation Donate Online Leave a gift in your will Why we are remembering Amnesty in our wills Bequests RRIFs and RRSPs Life Insurance Contact our Planned Giving Associate Disclaimer Gifts of Stocks and Securities Give a Gift in Memoriam Send a Special Occasion Gift Raise Money for Human Rights Tips for Raising Money Fundraising Q As Donate a car Update your monthly donor information Join Us About Us What we do Key Facts about Amnesty International How We Make A Difference Our Leaders Our Impact Governance Financial Information Work With Us FAQ Members Thank You Contact Us Home Why is a national public inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women needed Friday September 12 2014 14 06 By Craig Benjamin Campaigner for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples Ten years ago when Amnesty International released its first research report on missing and murdered Indigenous women we did not call for a national inquiry At the time we felt that the most if not all the elements of what government needed to do to address the threats to Indigenous women s lives had already been identified by frontline service providers affected families and communities and previous inquiries Then as now what was urgently needed was the political will to consolidate all these measures into a comprehensive coordinated national action plan Ten years have now passed since that initial report And despite the unprecedented public attention to the issue and the fact that murders and disappearances continue to steal Indigenous women and girls from their families and communities Canada still does not have a plan to stem this violence Instead of a comprehensive and coordinated national action plan government response remains piecemeal and scattershot The voices of affected families and communities have been ignored in two separate Parliamentary committee hearings which served only to endorse current government policies Government officials continue to make statements that simplify and distort the issues ignoring the evidence that violence is pervasive and fueled by discrimination and impoverishment It has become apparent that the urgently needed comprehensive coordinated national response may never be put in place unless there is greater government accountability to the families of missing and murdered women and to all Canadians Amnesty International supports the calls for a national public inquiry as a means to hold the federal government to account We need an inquiry to establish a benchmark against which the actions or inactions of government can be evaluated and held accountable We need an inquiry so that the independent credible expert who conducts the inquiry can lend her or his authority to the calls for action We need a public inquiry so that the voices of families and affected communities will be listened to As we have seen from the Parliamentary committees other forms of hearings or discussion are unlikely to meet these needs It s crucial that any inquiry be Well resourced Developed in collaboration with Indigenous women s

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/blog/why-is-a-national-public-inquiry-on-missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-needed (2016-02-13)
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  • Letter to The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General on Violence against Indigenous Women | Amnesty International Canada
    Action Plan that includes and is informed by a National Public Inquiry And we have welcomed the support of provinces and territories for a National Public Inquiry In rejecting calls for such an inquiry your government is denying Indigenous families and all Canadians one of the crucial tools needed to put Canada on the right course Ten years ago when we published our Stolen Sisters report we noted that numerous studies had already identified measures needed to reduce the threats to Indigenous women and girls and to ensure effective police response when their lives are in danger Our point was not that the work had already been done and the concerns addressed To the contrary we noted that important gaps remained in public understanding of the unique patterns of violence facing Indigenous women and girls Even more importantly we pointed out that the vast majority of recommendations already brought to the attention of government had gone unimplemented We called for previous inquiries and studies to be reviewed and implemented Sadly this has never happened We did not at that time call for a national public inquiry We hoped that once there was public acknowledgement of the horrific rates of violence facing Indigenous women and girls responsible governments would act immediately to implement the most urgently needed measures to ensure Indigenous women s safety and work with Indigenous women to develop and implement as soon as possible a comprehensive coordinated long term plan of action This has not happened Indeed the failure to do so has been so great that one of the most obvious and necessary first responses for the national police service to identify and make public its best information on the numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women has only just happened now ten years after the release of our report What this tells us is that much greater transparency and accountability is needed That concern alone urgently necessitates a national public inquiry This failure to act is a blatant contravention of the fundamental human rights obligation of all governments to take every reasonable measure to protect the rights to live free from violence and discrimination We are not alone in pointing out this failure Most recently the BC Missing Women Commission of Inquiry 2012 noted that the majority of very practical recommendations from the 2006 Highway of Tears Symposium had gone unimplemented Indigenous peoples organizations and frontline service providers are now raising serious concerns over the implementation of the BC Inquiry s recommendations The BC Inquiry report the Highway of Tears Symposium report and reports which we cited in 2004 the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and the Manitoba Justice Inquiry are all on the list which you ve circulated To be clear no one wants to add another unimplemented and ignored inquiry report to this growing list of shame Critically however this very obviously does not have to be the fate of a National Public Inquiry To the contrary properly constituted and supported a National Public Inquiry can ensure that the voices of affected families and communities are finally heard and listened to and it can serve to hold all levels of government accountable for real and meaningful action to stop the violence Minister MacKay we couldn t agree more that Canada needs action The federal government should develop a framework for action with Indigenous women s organizations which includes a National Public Inquiry and a comprehensive and time bound National Action Plan on violence against Indigenous women This action should be grounded in recommendations from previous studies And most importantly action must be responsive to the needs of the very community whose rights are in need of protection Sincerely Alex Neve Béatrice Vaugrante Secretary General Directrice Générale Amnesty International Canada English Amnistie internationale Canada francophone Le 10 juin 2014 L honorable Peter MacKay Ministre de la Justice et procureur général du Canada Chambre des communes Ottawa Ontario Canada K1A 0A6 Objet La mise en application des recommandations actuelles nécessaires pour combattre la violence envers les femmes autochtones Monsieur le ministre Au Canada le taux alarmant de violence à laquelle font face les femmes et les jeunes filles inuites métis et des Premières nations ne constitue rien de moins qu une crise nationale des droits humains En réponse à la demande croissante pour une enquête publique à l échelle nationale sur cette crise vous avez répété à plusieurs reprises que le Canada doit agir et non procéder à d autres études Afin d étayer votre position vous avez distribué une liste de 40 rapports qui ont déjà étudié la question de la disparition et du meurtre de femmes et de jeunes filles autochtones ou des facteurs associés qui présentent un danger pour les femmes et les jeunes filles autochtones Monsieur le ministre en tant qu organisation ayant rédigé deux des rapports de votre liste Amnistie internationale s oppose fermement à l utilisation de son travail comme justification pour ne pas demander une commission d enquête publique nationale sur la violence faite aux femmes autochtones La liste de 40 rapports n est pas une défense du bilan ou de l approche du Gouvernement en cette matière Lorsque nous avons fait la revue de cette liste nous avons trouvé un vaste ensemble de recommandations qui avaient été pour la plupart ignorées par tous les paliers du Gouvernement De plus nous avons remarqué que plusieurs de ces rapports avaient été préparés par des organisations qui depuis lors ont fait face à de très importantes coupures budgétaires qui ont miné la poursuite de leur travail sur ces questions ou qui l ont complètement interrompue En d autres termes cette liste de 40 rapports représente la mise en accusation du continuel refus des gouvernements au Canada d écouter et d agir suite aux recommandations d organisations et de commissions qui ont déjà examiné la question et qui ont réclamé une action véritable et efficace L énorme disproportion du taux de violence à laquelle sont confrontées les femmes et les jeunes filles

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/open-letters/letter-to-the-honourable-peter-mackay-minister-of-justice-and-attorney-general-on (2016-02-13)
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  • New RCMP violence report highlights need to hold government and police accountable for failing Indigenous women and girls | Amnesty International Canada
    in our wills Bequests RRIFs and RRSPs Life Insurance Contact our Planned Giving Associate Disclaimer Gifts of Stocks and Securities Give a Gift in Memoriam Send a Special Occasion Gift Raise Money for Human Rights Tips for Raising Money Fundraising Q As Donate a car Update your monthly donor information Join Us About Us What we do Key Facts about Amnesty International How We Make A Difference Our Leaders Our Impact Governance Financial Information Work With Us FAQ Members Thank You Contact Us Home Media Awards Multimedia New RCMP violence report highlights need to hold government and police accountable for failing Indigenous women and girls Canadians ask government police to do more to stop violence against Aboriginal women Craig Benjamin Amnesty International News releases May 16 2014 In a report released today the RCMP provided further substantiation to its conclusion made public earlier this month that 1 017 Indigenous women and girls were murdered between 1980 2012 a homicide rate at least four times higher than that faced by all other women The report also identifies 164 unresolved cases of Indigenous women and girls who have been missing for 30 days or longer While Amnesty International welcomes the efforts made by the RCMP to research and make public these statistics we are deeply concerned by the fact that the national police service had not previously sought to clarify the extent of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls As the RCMP report acknowledges accurate and comprehensive information on the rates of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls is essential to developing effective prevention strategies said Alex Neve Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada s English Branch Why then has this information never been researched and made available before despite the many many years of Indigenous women demanding action to address the threats that they face For that matter why have the RCMP not previously acknowledged the gaps in their own knowledge of this critical issue of public safety While the RCMP has characterized the new report as the most comprehensive data that has ever been assembled by the Canadian policing community on missing and murdered Aboriginal women the new report in fact marks the first time that police in Canada have ever attempted to identify the numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls over time and across all jurisdictions Critically even these numbers may be incomplete and underestimate the true extent of the violence faced by Indigenous women and girls because of inconsistencies and inaccuracies in police recording of Indigenous identity Indigenous women s organizations have long asserted that First Nations Inuit and Métis women and girls face much higher rates of violence including murder and disappearance than all other women in Canada Until now however there have been no national police statistics breaking down homicides and missing persons cases by Indigenous identity Governments have a fundamental responsibility to take every reasonable effort to stop violence against women said Béatrice Vaugrante Director General of Amnesty International Canada

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/news-releases/new-rcmp-violence-report-highlights-need-to-hold-government-and-police (2016-02-13)
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  • Parliamentary Committee report fails Aboriginal women and girls and all Canadians | Amnesty International Canada
    Human Rights College 2015 Planning Committee Member Application Lifesaver Actions for Young Activists Student Group Registration Form Youth Leadership Oppotunitities Join a group Community Activism Volunteer Leadership Fieldworkers Join our Membership Consultation Committee MCC Volunteers Wanted Nova Scotia University Orientation Week Country and Theme Coordinators in Canada The Board of Directors Resources for Activists Activism Fund Have your say Seasonal Activism Guide Meet our Team Work Volunteer Opportunities Donate Become a Monthly Donor Sign Up Online Your Donations at Work Amnesty Canvassers Telephone Canvassing Make a One time Donation Donate Online Leave a gift in your will Why we are remembering Amnesty in our wills Bequests RRIFs and RRSPs Life Insurance Contact our Planned Giving Associate Disclaimer Gifts of Stocks and Securities Give a Gift in Memoriam Send a Special Occasion Gift Raise Money for Human Rights Tips for Raising Money Fundraising Q As Donate a car Update your monthly donor information Join Us About Us What we do Key Facts about Amnesty International How We Make A Difference Our Leaders Our Impact Governance Financial Information Work With Us FAQ Members Thank You Contact Us Home Media Awards Multimedia Parliamentary Committee report fails Aboriginal women and girls and all Canadians Susanne Ure News releases March 07 2014 For the second time in a little more than two years a Parliamentary Committee has ignored the need for concrete and comprehensive action to address the shockingly high levels of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls in Canada The report of the Special Committee on Violence against Indigenous Women released in Parliament today acknowledges that First Nations Inuit and Métis women and girls face much higher rates of violence than all other women in Canada However the report prepared by the majority Conservative members of the Committee fails to call for the critical steps that must be taken to bring this crisis to an end Like the report released by the Parliamentary Committee on the Status of Women in December 2011 the report endorses existing government initiatives while vaguely calling for further examination of other issues No indication was given about how or when the Committee members think such examination should take place Concrete proposals for action presented by Indigenous women s organizations and families of missing and murdered women are ignored Indigenous women and girls and indeed all Canadians deserve better from our Parliament said Alex Neve Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada English Speaking Government ministers keep saying that they want action not just talk on violence against Indigenous women But when given the opportunity to make a commitment to meaningful action the government keeps endorsing the status quo Amnesty International has long stood alongside the Native Women s Association of Canada the Assembly of First Nations and many other organizations in calling for a national inquiry so that the knowledge and experience of Indigenous women can inform a comprehensive and coordinated national action plan on violence against women In dissenting reports also issued today NDP and Liberal members of

    Original URL path: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/news-releases/parliamentary-committee-report-fails-aboriginal-women-and-girls-and-all-canadians (2016-02-13)
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