NWAC CEO Urges United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People to Revisit Definition of the Crime of Genocide in International Law
OTTAWA, July 15, 2019 – In response to the release of the Final Report of the National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) CEO Lynne Groulx met with United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People Victoria Tauli-Corpuz to discuss the definition of genocide.
The Final Report of the National Inquiry into MMIWG found that the acts of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people amounts to race based genocide. In the light of the Inquiry’s findings, NWAC is urging UN Special Rapporteur Tauli-Corpuz to support recent efforts to revisit the current narrow definition of the crime of genocide in international law.
Specifically, the Inquiry report found that “the insidious and gradual nature of the obliteration of Indigenous peoples, and the lack of a uniform national policy spearheaded by a totalitarian mastermind, differentiate colonial genocide from our traditional understanding of what constitutes a genocide.”
NWAC believes that the “time is now for the international community to view the crime of genocide in this wider perspective and to change the current definition of the crime to actually reflect past and current genocidal practices,” according to Groulx.
NWAC has the support of several key international leaders and international organizations and, along with their commitment and support, NWAC intends to explore expanding the definition of genocide as a priority action item.
“The type of genocide occurring in Canada has also occurred in other countries around the globe. Considering the findings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, it is time for the international community to recognize and expand the definition of genocide,” said Groulx.
NWAC will also bring to the attention of the Special Rapporteur the need for international support to implement the 231 Calls for Justice in a meaningful way. As well, NWAC is requesting that United Nations representatives closely monitor the implementation of the Calls for Justice and hold an on-going dialogue with NWAC to discuss the Government of Canada’s progress.
For further information: Steven Pink, Senior Director of Legal Services and Communications at: Spink@nwac.ca