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HRW: Canada should investigate violence against indigenous women

Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] urged [press release] the Canadian government on Friday to institute an independent national inquiry into violence against women in the country. HRW also urged the government to establish greater accountability for cases of police misconduct. HRW found that the police have failed to adequately protect indigenous women and girls from violent attacks, specifically in Northern British Columbia. Furthermore, HRW's February 2013 report [text] found that the British Columbia police were exhibiting abusive behavior against women and children, including excessive use of force, physical assault and sexual assault. HRW claims that Canada has inadequate police complaint mechanisms and oversight of police behavior procedures. In August HRW demanded a similar inquiry [press release] into violence against women occurring in British Columbia. In April the UN Human Rights Council voiced [press release] concerns about the safety of indigenous women in Canada.

In September the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) [official websites] issued a report [JURIST report] revealing that most countries still have legal disparities that prevent women from engaging in economic activity. In the same month HRW urged [JURIST report] the head of the Rights and Freedoms Working Group for Yemen's National Dialogue to incorporate protections for women in the country's new constitution. HRW listed seven key issues affecting women's rights—equality, non-discrimination, political parties, violence against women, personal status law, child marriage and nationality rights. In May the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) [official website] called for the participation [JURIST report] of Libyan women in the Constitution Drafting Assembly. The UNSMIL noted that the preparation and drafting of the constitution is a significant part of Libya's democratic transition, and the representation and participation of women throughout the process will greatly contribute to the growth of the country. Also in May the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and UN Women [official websites] demanded [JURIST report] Afghanistan's government to fully respect and defend the fundamental rights of women and girls by ensuring the implementation of and respect for women's rights legislation.

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