UN urges Canada to look into abuses, crimes against natives

United Nations urges Canada to probe mining abuses along with murders of native women

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A United Nations watchdog demanded that Canada investigates alleged human rights abuses by mining companies that it owns overseas, on Thursday, and look into the murder and kidnapping of indigenous women.

The UN Human Rights Committee articulated that it is concerned over "allegations of human rights abuses by Canadian companies operating abroad, in particular mining corporations, and about the inaccessibility to remedies by victims of such violations."

Canadian companies have established themselves overseas stretching from Papua New Guinea all the way to Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"Violence against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada is a problem of massive proportions, and its manifestation in British Columbia is particularly pronounced," said a group of activist bodies, in a letter submitted to the UN committee.

The UN has thus urged Canada to investigate human rights abuses in its corporations abroad.

"One major concern by the committee was the murdered and missing indigenous females, women and children," said UN committee vice-chair Anja Seibert-Fohr.

"We have found that these indigenous females are disproportionately affected by violence."

"We are still missing information about real investigations and the prosecution," she added.

Documents that belong to the Native Women's Association of Canada show that almost a thousand cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls took place in Canada in the last three decades, many of which were undermined by the police, as some of the women were alleged prostitutes or drug users.

"... we asked [Canada] to urgently address this issue of these murdered and missing indigenous women and we proposed some measures, for example a national inquiry into this phenomenon but also a review of the relevant legislation," they said.

TRTWorld and agencies