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End sexual violence against Indigenous women in the USA

On May 17, 2022, Amnesty International USA released Never-Ending Maze: Continued failure to protect Indigenous women against sexual violence in USA as a follow-on report to their first publication in 2007 on the crisis of sexual violence against American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women. 

It was reported that in the past 15 years, there has been no significant decrease in sexual violence against AI/AN women in the USA. High rates of sexual violence are predominantly a result of perpetrators being able to evade justice due to the intermix of failures in the US government systems, policing, criminal justice, and healthcare.

AI/AN women are murdered at ten times more than the national average on some reservations. Domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, sex trafficking, and extractive industries are linked to the disappearances and murders of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG). Settler-colonial practices and policies, discrimination against women and Indigenous identity, and racist attitudes play a part in these human rights violations against AI/AN women.

The US government continues to deny access to justice for the AI/AN survivors of sexual violence. It fails to fulfill its federal trust responsibility by undermining tribal governments and authorities, creating complex regulations on the jurisdiction, and implementing laws that contribute to the financial burden of the tribes. It limits the access to legal services and healthcare for Indigenous Peoples by underfunding legal agencies and healthcare facilities. 

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) stands in solidarity with our Indigenous sisters in North America. We join the urgent demands to end this violence against Indigenous women and children. 

We urge our members, partners, and networks in the international community to hold the North American governments accountable for upholding international human rights and Indigenous Peoples’ individual and collective rights. States and governments must recognize and respect tribal sovereignty. We call for justice for the survivors and their families. We also join the demands for full reparations to our Indigenous brothers and sisters targeted by such violence. 

States and governments must eliminate discrimination against Indigenous women and children. It is the responsibility of states and governments to ensure that Indigenous women and children live in a society free from sexual and other forms of violence, where they are given the necessary support and access to culturally-appropriate social services, which are crucial for Indigenous Peoples to survive and flourish.

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