This past February 14th, members of “CATHII” (an action-oriented committee that works for the elimination of human trafficking of women) along with hundreds of people participated in a remembrance MARCH, demanding justice for all Aboriginal women who have disappeared or who have been assassinated.
This was the third year that the commemorative March was held in Montreal. This year, the MARCH focused on making the public aware of the violence inflicted on First Nations women.
The "Quebec Native Women of Canada" have, for several years, been documenting instances of the disappearance of native women. NWAC, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, believes that there are still many disappearances that have not been documented.
Nevertheless, the 585 known and documented cases, placed within the framework of the national Sisters in Spirit Campaign which raises public awareness of the alarmingly high rates of violence against Aboriginal women in Canada, are divided as follows:
• 52% of victims are below the age of 30.
• 43% of disappearances have occurred since 2000.
• 55% of those murdered have occurred since 2000.
Despite the fact that native women form only 3% of the Canadian population, they are over represented among the victims of sexual and racial violence.
Last Monday during a meeting in Geneva, the United Nations Committee for the elimination of discrimination against women discussed the cases of disappearance and murder of native women in Canada. The Committee has not yet decided if they will ask the Canadian Government to open an investigation.