APTN National News
The United Nations Human Rights Committee slammed the federal government Thursday for its “failure” to respond to the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
The committee says it’s concerned with disproportionate number of Indigenous women and girls affected by life-threatening violence, murders and disappearances.
“Notably, the committee is concerned about the State party’s reported failure to provide adequate and effective responses to this issue across the territory of the State party,” the committee said in its report taking aim at Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative party.
The committee says there’s been a lack of information on measures the Harper government has taken to “investigate, prosecute, and punish those responsible.”
A national inquiry is needed, the committee recommends, as well as a review of police responses across the country.
APTN sought comment from the the Prime Minister’s Office. The foreign affairs minister’s office responded instead.
“Canada is the best country in the world,” said spokesperson Johanna Quinney. “We are proud of our human rights record at home and abroad. Just last week the Reputation Institute found that Canada was the most admired country in the world.”
The committee is also raising concerns about Canada’s new anti-terror legislation, saying it could run afoul of the international covenant on civil and political rights.
The committee says it’s concerned sweeping powers in the law, known as C-51, do not contain enough legal safeguards to protect people’s rights.
The committee says while it appreciates Canada must take steps to protect against terrorism, the government should consider rewriting the law to ensure it complies with the international civil rights agreement.
Problems with C-51 are only part of a list of issues the committee is raising today in releasing a report on how well Canada is meetings its obligations under the civil and political human rights covenant.
– with files from The Canadian Press