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Group charges abuse of indigenous women

Feb. 13, 2013 at 8:34 AM

OTTAWA, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police fail to protect indigenous women and girls in northern British Columbia from physical and sexual violence, a report charges.

The 89-page report released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch also documents abusive treatment of indigenous women by police officers.

"The threat of domestic and random violence on one side, and the mistreatment of RCMP officers on the other, leaves indigenous women in a constant state of insecurity," said Meghan Rhoad of Human Rights Watch.

Rhoad said there is no one to turn to when police are unresponsive and, in some cases, abusive.

Human Rights Watch has called on the Canadian government to establish a national commission of inquiry into the murders and disappearances of indigenous women and girls in communities along Highway 16 in British Columbia.

A 450-mile stretch of Highway 16 has become infamous for the dozens of women and girls who have been reported missing or were found dead in its vicinity since the late 1960s.

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