Canada Prevents UN Rapporteur Visit to Probe Natives’ Rights
reposted from Press TV, with thanks to the earth first! newswire for bringing it to my attention!
The Canadian government continues to prevent the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, from making an official visit to the North American country.
Anaya says that the federal government continues to disregard his year-old request to visit Canada in an attempt to investigate the “human rights situation of Indigenous peoples,” according to a February 20 letter sent to the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).
“I have communicated with the government of Canada to request its consent for me to conduct an official visit to the country to examine and report on the human rights situation of Indigenous peoples there,” Anaya wrote in the letter.
The letter added that Anaya initially made the request in February 2012 and he is still waiting for a response from Ottawa. He has written the federal government at least three times to be permitted to visit Canada.
He went on to say that he will try to meet with First Nations leaders via unofficial channels if the government in Canada goes on to overlook his request.
“If I do not receive a positive response from the government in the coming months, I can explore ways of meeting with First Nations leaders from Canada outside the context of an official visit,” Anaya wrote.
The government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is under criticism for its violations of the rights of indigenous people in Canada.
Many of Canada’s natives live in poor conditions with unsafe drinking water, inadequate housing, addiction, and high suicide rates.
In a report released on December 19, 2012, Amnesty International asked Canada to address human rights abuses in the country, particularly with respect to the rights of indigenous peoples.