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Human Rights Council 33, UK statement delivered during Panel Discussion on Violence Against, 20 September, 2016

UK Statement: Panel Discussion on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls.

The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva
The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

Mr President,

The United Kingdom is committed to tackling the problem of discrimination and violence against women and girls. This is a priority for the UK at home and overseas and is central to our work to advance gender equality.

Evidence shows that the strongest, safest and most prosperous societies are those in which women and men can play a full and active part on equal terms. Yet in many parts of the world, indigenous women and girls – alongside other groups subjected to multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination - often face greater expressions of violence and discrimination than other segments of the population.

The UK has no indigenous people within its territorial borders, but has taken steps to increase protection from discrimination and violence for all women and girls, including by ensuring that more perpetrators of violence against women and girls are held to account. In 2014-15 we reached the highest ever level of prosecutions and convictions for domestic abuse, rape & sexual offences since we started recording this data.

We have also brought about legislative change. The law on domestic abuse is now even stronger with the introduction of a new domestic abuse offence to capture coercive and controlling behaviour in intimate and familial relationships.

We believe that all people, including indigenous women and girls, should have the power to shape their lives and control the decisions that affect them. Crucial to achieving this is ensuring that attitudes and perceptions are changed and that violence and discrimination is adequately tackled.

Thank you.

Published 20 September 2016