Produced by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the report addresses the situation of missing and murdered indigenous women in British Columbia, Canada. It analyzes the context in which indigenous women have gone missing and been murdered over the past several years and the response to this human rights issue by the Canadian State. The report offers recommendations geared towards assisting the State in strengthening its efforts to protect and guarantee indigenous women’s rights.
Addressing violence against women is not sufficient unless the underlying factors of discrimination that originate and exacerbate the violence are also comprehensively addressed. The IACHR stresses the importance of applying a comprehensive holistic approach to violence against indigenous women. This means addressing the past and present institutional and structural inequalities confronted by indigenous women in Canada. This includes the dispossession of indigenous lands, as well as historical laws and policies that negatively affected indigenous people, the consequences of which continue to prevent their full enjoyment of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. This in turn entails addressing the persistence of longstanding social and economic marginalization through effective measures to combat poverty, improve education and employment, guarantee adequate housing and address the disproportionate application of criminal law against indigenous people. These measures must incorporate the provision of information and assistance to ensure that indigenous women have effective access to legal remedies in relation to custody matters.