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    Indigenous Women Violence Inquiry Plan Fails to Look Into Police Conduct

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    Human Rights Watch has criticized Canadian government plans for a national inquiry into the murders and disappearances of the country's indigenous women over the plan's failure to include policing into the areas under investigation.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the Canadian government allocated over 53 million Canadian dollars ($41 million) for a national investigation into the reasons behind the high homicide rate suffered by the country's indigenous female population. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government appointed five commissioners to prepare a report with recommendations for addressing the problem.

    "Disappointingly, the inquiry’s final terms of reference do not specifically mention policing…the terms of reference instruct the commissioners to direct information about misconduct back to “appropriate authorities.” These are mechanisms that often result in police investigating police," HRW said in a dispatch on Thursday.

    A national inquiry into the indigenous population's problems must look into the need to reform police and oversight bodies, the human rights organization added, stressing that police officers must be held accountable for misconduct in order to ensure safety for indigenous women and girls.

    Last year, Trudeau's newly elected government laid out a plan to reset Ottawa's relations with the country's indigenous people. Trudeau's plan stipulates inquiry into missing indigenous women, investments in indigenous people's education, as well as and an overview of the legislation imposed on indigenous people by the previous governments.

    During the election campaign, Trudeau promised to pay more attention to the problems of the First Nations peoples and to allocate about $40 million to an inquiry into some 1,200 cases of indigenous women and girls gone missing and being murdered.

    Cases of homicides against indigenous women represent 16 percent of all female homicides in Canada, while the indigenous females make up just over 4 percent of all Canadian females, according to HRW.

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