ACT NOW: Educate the Inter-American Commission about Violence Against Native Women

International law recognizes the fundamental human right of Native women to live free from violence.  Yet in the United States

* 1 in 3 Native women will be raped in her lifetime
* 4 in 5 Native women will be violently assaulted in her life

The NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Native Women and the Indian Law Resource Center are increasing pressure on the United States government to end this violence by educating regional human rights bodies in the Americas about this grave issue. 

Why Raise Awareness in the Inter-American System?

The United States government’s failure to respond to the epidemic of violence against Native women violates international human rights law.  Advocacy at the international level compliments and strengthens advocacy efforts on the domestic level by:

• educating legislators and policy makers in the United States about their international 
  human rights obligations to Native women;
• allowing international human rights bodies to investigate, report, and comment on United
  States’ actions and whether they meet the United States’ international obligations; and
• increasing pressure on the United States by shaming it in the international arena.

We have targeted the Inter-American System because the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women and the Inter-American Commission can investigate and make recommendations to the United States government on how to end violence against Native women.

Act Now to End Violence Against Native Women

Send a letter to the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about how violence against Native women affects your tribal community.  Letters should include:

* Stories or statistics, including newspaper articles, about violence against Native women in
   your community;
* Information on how law enforcement and the federal government have failed to respond
   to this violence; and
* Recommendations that the Inter-American system further investigate the epidemic of
   violence against Native women and issue a comprehensive report on how the United
   States, in consultation and collaboration with tribes, could better protect the human rights
   of Native women.

Tribal leaders, who face significant violence against women issues in their community and have useful data to share, are encouraged to invite the Special Rapporteur and the Inter-American Commission to their community for a site visit.

Here is a draft letter to help you craft your letter.

Where To Send Letters: Letters can be sent by email, fax, or regular mail to the addresses below:

Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 
1889 F St. NW
Washington D.C. 20006
fmelzi@oas.org
Fax (202) 458-3992

Dr. Santiago Canton, Executive Secretary
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
1889 F St. NW
Washington D.C. 20006
cidhoea@oas.org
Fax (202) 458-3992

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