Canadian Human Rights Agencies Call for Action

TORONTO, March 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Marking International Women's Day on March 8, Barbara Hall, President of the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA), today announced that the association has released a motion addressed to the Government of Canada.

The motion, unanimously passed by CASHRA members, urges the Government to work with Aboriginal peoples' organizations to develop and implement a national action plan. The plan would focus urgent attention on addressing and preventing the root causes of violence against Aboriginal women and girls, including poverty and systemic discrimination. It further calls on the Government to establish an independent and inclusive inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.

"We hear almost daily how Aboriginal women and girls continue to bear a persistent and disproportionate burden of violence," commented President Barbara Hall. "I am pleased that the Ontario Human Rights Commission as a member of CASHRA, fully endorses CASHRA's strong stand pushing the federal Government to urgently address this very disturbing situation."

According to Statistics Canada, Aboriginal women in Canada are seven times more likely to be murdered than non-Aboriginal women. The Native Women's Association of Canada reports that, over the past 30 years, an alarming number of Aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or have been found murdered in communities across Canada.  Most of these cases remain unsolved.

CASHRA was established in 1972 as an umbrella organization for the federal, provincial and territorial human rights commissions. Commissions are "arm's-length" statutory agencies charged with administering human rights legislation through public education, research, policy development, communications, and formal complaint processes. Some Commissions have additional powers to conduct inquiries and investigations into systemic discrimination. Since its inception, CASHRA continues to provide opportunities for members to exchange information about human rights laws in Canada. CASHRA also undertakes public education projects that promote and advocate for human rights in Canada and abroad.

CASHRA Members include:

Alberta Human Rights Commission

Canadian Human Rights Commission

Manitoba Human Rights Commission

New Brunswick Human Rights Commission

Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission

Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission

Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

Ontario Human Rights Commission

Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission

Québec - Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse

Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission

Yukon Human Rights Commission

SOURCE: Ontario Human Rights Commission

For further information:

Afroze Edwards
Senior Communications Officer
Communications and Issues Management
416 314-4528


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