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Canada: No more Stolen Sisters

    Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 14:47

    Indigenous women are going missing and being murdered at a much higher rate than other women in Canada—a rate so high it constitutes nothing less than a national human rights crisis.

    According to RCMP data, at least 1,017 Indigenous women and girls were murdered from 1980-2012.

    Amnesty International is calling for a comprehensive, coordinated, and well-resourced National Action Plan, created in collaboration with Indigenous women and girls, to stop the violence.

    A National Action Plan must address the root causes of violence and identify holistic, culturally-appropriate ways in which to prevent violence and to support those impacted by violence. The National Action Plan should include a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls - focused on exposing the nature of this violence and on ensuring government and police accountability for an effective and coordinated response.

    Amnesty International stands in solidarity with the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and Indigenous peoples’ organizations to demand real action now to prevent more sisters from being stolen.

    Call on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to stop the violence now.

    To the Prime Minister of Canada:

    Too many Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or been murdered. As a society, we have a responsibility to help end this violence.

    I call on the federal government to work with Indigenous women and representative organizations, as well as with provinces and territories, to enact a comprehensive National Action Plan to both prevent violence against women and support victims of violence. Such a national action plan must include measures to ensure an effective and unbiased police response but it must also tackle the discrimination and inequalities which lead to such high rates of violence. A comprehensive national action plan must:

    • Uphold and promote the rights of all Indigenous women and girls whether they live on reserve or in other communities.
    • Ensure effective coordination of federal, provincial, and territorial policies, programs and services affecting the lives and well-being of Indigenous women and girls.
    • Address long-standing and deep-rooted patterns of discrimination and impoverishment that put so many Indigenous women and girls in harm's way. 
    • Ensure that police in every jurisdiction have clear guidance on effective and appropriate responses to threats to Indigenous women's lives and safety, including missing persons protocols based on clear recognition of the heightened risk faced by Indigenous women and girls.
    • Help Indigenous women escape from abusive relationships and dangerous situations by ensuring adequate, sustained funding to shelters and frontline organizations providing culturally appropriate services.
    • Include a National Public Inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women to expose the nature of violence against Indigenous women and girls and to ensure government and police accountability for an effective and coordinated response.



    Ten years ago, Amnesty International released a report on Stolen Sisters, and tens of thousands of human rights supporters have signed petitions urging the government to take action. Learn more about more about the issues, actions you can take, and other helpful links on Amnesty's web page: No More Stolen Sisters


    Write a letter. Visit Amnesty International Canada's for guidance in writing a personal letter directly to the Prime Minister