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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OTTAWA – Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and President Rebecca Kudloo welcomes the preliminary conclusions by Dubravka Simonovic, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women in Canada and supports the call for implementation strategies. Kudloo is grateful to have met with Dubravka Simonovic in Iqaluit, Nunavut on April 14, 2018 to showcase our vibrant communities but also to talk about violence against Inuit women and their safety.

Kudloo and the Special Rapporteur spoke in depth about the dire need for safe shelters across Inuit Nunangat, the growing issue of children being taking into care and out of Inuit communities, as well as the issue of mental health and suicide in Inuit Nunangat. In addition, Kudloo spoke to the Special Rapporteur about the need for Canada to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) Article 22, on the rights and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities. Violence against Inuit women is 14 times the national average and more than 70 per cent of the 53 Inuit communities across the Canadian Arctic do not have a safe shelter for women. Suicide rates across Inuit Nunangat are also up to nine times higher than the rest of Canada.

Kudloo states, “We’re grateful for the opportunity to have met with Dubravka Simonovic and to speak about violence against Inuit women and girls across Canada. We agree with much of what she has stated in her preliminary conclusions and we are encouraged by her recommendations. Canada must not only look to Inuit women for consultation, but also implementation of a strategy to end violence against Inuit women and girls.”

We look forward to further collaboration with the Special Rapporteur as she presents her final report next year as well as action from the federal government on these life-threatening issues.

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To request an interview, please contact Tracy O’Hearn by phone at 613-238-3977 ext. 226 or by e-mail at tohearn@pauktuutit.ca.