The UN Human Rights Council held its 33rd session on September 13-September 30 in Geneva, Switzerland. Center staff attending called for concrete measures to address the extreme rates of violence against indigenous women and girls around the world, including American Indian and Alaska Native women. On September 20th, during its annual half-day discussion on indigenous peoples’ rights, the Council held a significant panel discussion on the causes and consequences of violence against indigenous women and girls. The World Conference on Indigenous Peoples Outcome Document specifically invited the Council to consider this topic. "The Council’s decision to hold this panel is largely the result of the advocacy efforts of indigenous women’s organizations and other indigenous organizations," said Jana L. Walker, senior attorney at the Center. " We were pleased that the Council decided in its resolution on human rights and indigenous peoples to continue its consideration of the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, including indigenous women and girls, 'as a matter of high priority, in conformity with its annual programme of work.'"
The Center developed and cosponsored written and oral statements with the Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians, National Congress of American Indians, and Native American Rights Fund. These statements identify violence against indigenous women as a major human rights violation and make recommendations for actions by the UN and member states to address this crisis. They also urge establishment of an effective body to implement, promote, and monitor states’ compliance with the rights in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Supporters of the written statements also include: Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center; Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence; California Association of Tribal Governments; Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska; National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center; Restoring Ancestral Winds, Inc.; Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition, Inc.; and Washington State Native American Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault–WomenSpirit Coalition.
The Council also considered the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and negotiated and adopted a resolution deciding on the mandate and structure of the implementing and monitoring body for the Declaration. Additional information on the Human Rights Council’s 33rd session, including copies of oral and written statements and the above resolution and reports, are below.
1: Written Statement 1 (Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls)
2: Written Statement 2 (Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls, a Condition to Achieving Integration of a Gender Perspective)
3: Written Statement 3 (Establishing an effective body to implement, promote, and monitor states’ compliance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)
4: Oral Statement (Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls)
5. Oral Statement (Establishing an effective body to implement, promote, and monitor states’ compliance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)
6. A/HRC/RES/33/13 is the resolution on human rights and indigenous peoples
7. A/HRC/RES/33/25 is the resolution on the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples