Urgent Action Needed to Ensure Indigenous Women Are Not Sterilized Without Their Consent

(December 10, 2018) Across Canada and as recently as 2017, Indigenous women report being forcibly or coercively sterilized. Some women were incorrectly told the procedure is reversible. Others were separated from their babies until they consented to a tubal ligation.

Forced and coerced sterilizations of Indigenous women are a result of systemic violence and discrimination against Indigenous peoples in the provision of public services in Canada, a pattern
well known and acknowledged by government. They are an assault on Indigenous women, their families, their communities, and their Nations that have already been subjected to forced assimilation through colonialism, including eugenic practices.

Sterilizing women without their free, full, and informed consent is a form of violence and torture. Measures to prevent births within ethnic or racial groups is explicitly prohibited by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

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