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Canadian Human Rights Agencies Call for Action

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March 8, 2013

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For immediate release

Toronto - Marking International Women’s Day on March 8, Barbara Hall, President of the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA), today announced that the association has released a motion addressed to the Government of Canada.

The motion, unanimously passed by CASHRA members, urges the Government to work with Aboriginal peoples' organizations to develop and implement a national action plan. The plan would focus urgent attention on addressing and preventing the root causes of violence against Aboriginal women and girls, including poverty and systemic discrimination. It further calls on the Government to establish an independent and inclusive inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.

“We hear almost daily how Aboriginal women and girls continue to bear a persistent and disproportionate burden of violence,” commented President Barbara Hall. “I am pleased that the Ontario Human Rights Commission as a member of CASHRA, fully endorses CASHRA’s strong stand pushing the federal Government to urgently address this very disturbing situation.”

According to Statistics Canada, Aboriginal women in Canada are seven times more likely to be murdered than non-Aboriginal women. The Native Women's Association of Canada reports that, over the past 30 years, an alarming number of Aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or have been found murdered in communities across Canada.  Most of these cases remain unsolved. 


CASHRA was established in 1972 as an umbrella organization for the federal, provincial and territorial human rights commissions. Commissions are "arm’s-length" statutory agencies charged with administering human rights legislation through public education, research, policy development, communications, and formal complaint processes. Some Commissions have additional powers to conduct inquiries and investigations into systemic discrimination. Since its inception, CASHRA continues to provide opportunities for members to exchange information about human rights laws in Canada. CASHRA also undertakes public education projects that promote and advocate for human rights in Canada and abroad. 

CASHRA Members include:

Alberta Human Rights Commission
Canadian Human Rights Commission
Manitoba Human Rights Commission
New Brunswick Human Rights Commission
Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission
Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission
Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission
Ontario Human Rights Commission
Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission
Québec – Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse
Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission
Yukon Human Rights Commission

For further information:

Afroze Edwards
Agente principale des communications                                            
Communications et gestion des questions d'intérêt
416 314-4528