April 3, 2013
CASHRA Motion to the Government of Canada[PDF of the Motion]
Dear Prime Minister Harper:
The Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA) is the umbrella organization for federal, provincial and territorial human rights commissions, Canada's statutory agencies charged with administering human rights legislation. CASHRA's goals are to foster collaboration among its members and to serve as a national voice on human rights issues of common concern.
It is in this capacity that we write to you on an issue that has dominated our discussions and caused great concern. It is the national issue of miSSing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls and the painful effects it has on all communities, particularly Aboriginal communities, across the country.
On March 8th this year, marking the UN's International Women's Day, CASHRA member agencies agreed to send the attached motion to the Government of Canada. The unanimous motion calls on the Government to focus urgent and immediate attention on tackling the situation of the alarming number of Aboriginal women and girls who have gone miSSing or have been found murdered in communities across Canada.
We recognize the importance of the Government of Canada's proposal to strike a Parliamentary Committee, and we strongly urge you to quickly adopt a national action plan that includes establishing an independent and inclusive inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.
This is a national issue of utmost concern. We, therefore, strongly urge you to address this very disturbing situation.
If we can help in any way, please contact us either collectively or individually.
In closing, please keep us informed of any developments or steps being taken to deal with this matter.
Barbara Hall, B.A., LL.B., Ph.D. (hon.)
President of CASHRA and Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission
Enclosure: CASHRA Motion on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls