Monday, December 24, 2018

Access to Justice for Indigenous Women 13/20

Chapter 5-G. Conclusions 
182. The historical and structural discrimination faced by indigenous women on the basis of their race and ethnic background, status as women and socio economic condition, make them especially vulnerable to human rights violations. The right to access to justice therefore takes on particular importance and, accordingly, the IACHR reiterates its deep concern that, despite initiatives spearheaded by some States, the right of access to justice is not fully guaranteed for indigenous women in the Americas. 

183. As noted above, the main obstacles to adequately justice for indigenous women are geographic, socio-economic, cultural and linguistic, but also flow from a State failure to act with due diligence, to adopt a holistic vision of the problem of violence against women, and to ensure an intercultural, genderbased and multidisciplinary judicial response. In order to contribute to increasing indigenous women’s ability to obtain access to justice, States must adopt measures tending to empower indigenous women, give them access to meaningful participation in the civil and political spheres, as well as to improve their social and economic conditions.436 At the same time, the State must guarantee that its agents and justice officials are trained and sensitized about gender and the various indigenous cultures, beliefs, and worldviews in their country. Indigenous justice systems must also act with due diligence when human rights violations are committed against women. 

184. The obligation to include gender equality principles as well as due diligence standards required under international law also applies to indigenous justice systems. Therefore, it is important to work comprehensively in both State justice systems and indigenous systems on the measures necessary to respect and ensure indigenous women’s human rights, in order to contribute in this way to the removal of barriers to accessing justice.437

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