North American Leaders Summit, Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls
Joint Statement by Canada, Mexico, and the United States
Delivered by Jessica Carl
Human Rights Council 33rd Session
September 21, 2016
Thank you, Mr. President.
I have the pleasure of introducing this joint statement on behalf of Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
At the recent North American Leaders Summit, the United States, Canada, and Mexico made a trilateral commitment to address the scourge of violence against indigenous women and girls that exists across North America. We resolved to work together to share lessons learned and improve coordination on violence against indigenous women and girls.
Mounting advocacy, data collection, and research documenting widespread violence against indigenous women and girls has raised awareness among the international community of the imperative to respond to this appalling phenomenon. Indigenous women and girls worldwide endure disproportionate rates of violence and abuse. The outcome document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples urges States to take steps, both individually and collectively, to address this issue. As this violence transcends national borders, regional efforts are also essential. At the June 2016 North American Leaders Summit, our leaders announced the formation of the North American Working Group on Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls. The Working Group will meet for the first time in Washington in October. Its activities will complement the domestic efforts of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, enabling our three countries to improve collaboration, information sharing, and leveraging resources to enhance transnational responses to violent crimes against indigenous women and girls.
When we work together, we have the ability to significantly impact the safety and well-being of all people living across the continent. Without concerted action toward the pursuit of a region where all women and girls – regardless of race, ethnicity, or national identity – can enjoy a life free from violence, our work will not be completed.
We urge other countries to work with their regional partners to explore comparable innovative approaches, and to join us in prioritizing justice for indigenous women and girls within their foreign policy agendas.