Engaging a Human Rights Based Approach to the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry

Brenda L. Gunn

Abstract


This article argues that the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls should engage a human rights based approach when analyzing the systemic causes of violence and making recommendations. Such an approach includes using international human rights norms to evaluate and recommend changes to the laws that failed to protect, and in some cases contributed to, murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. Such an approach would also include international human rights principles such as Canada’s duty of due diligence to prevent, investigate, prosecute, punish, and compensate for murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. A human rights based approach keeps Indigenous women’s needs at the center of the Inquiry.

This article focusses on three instruments that have particular relevance to murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls: the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The goal is to highlight the broad range of human rights protections that should inform a human rights based approach to the Inquiry.

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