The United States, Canada and Australia advised to reflect on wrongdoings and violations of rights of indigenous peoples during a side event at the United Nations Human Rights Council

A woman takes a photo during a session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, September 13, 2021. Photo: CFP

The United States, Canada and Australia are advised to reflect seriously on their wrongdoings in history, to immediately amend laws and change policies that violate the rights of indigenous peoples, to investigate crimes and to hold the perpetrators accountable, Jiang Duan, minister of China’s mission to the UN in Geneva, said Friday during a side event at the 49th session of the Human Rights Council.

The Permanent Mission of Venezuela and the Permanent Mission of China co-hosted the side event on Friday with the theme “Systemic violations of the rights of indigenous peoples by the United States, Canada and Australia”. More than 150 people, including foreign diplomats in Geneva, academics, representatives of non-governmental organizations and the media attended the event.

“The United States has systematically deprived Native Americans of their basic rights, including the right to life, political, economic and cultural rights, in an effort to physically and culturally eradicate the entire community,” said Minister Jiang at the event.

The Native American population dropped from 5 million at the end of the 15th century to 237,000 at the start of the 20th century, and many tribes disappeared completely.

The Chinese envoy noted that since the beginning of last year, there has been the shocking and distressing discovery of a large number of graves and unnamed remains of indigenous children in Canada. For much of its history, Australia has pursued the notorious ‘White Australia Policy’, under which some 100,000 Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their families, causing lifelong damage and trauma. to the “stolen generation”.

“Serious violations of the rights of indigenous peoples by the United States, Canada and Australia are not just something of the past, but a matter of chronic and systemic racism that continues to this day,” Jiang said. noting that “today, Indigenous peoples are still subject to widespread and systemic discrimination and inequality in these countries, and are marginalized and left at the bottom of society politically, economically and culturally. »

The Chinese diplomat said the United States, Canada and Australia are urged to reflect seriously on their misdeeds in history. The diplomat added that multilateral human rights bodies such as the Human Rights Council and the OHCHR should take action in the face of serious violations of the rights of indigenous peoples in these countries.

Héctor Constant Rosales, the Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said at the side event that the United States, Canada and Australia have always taught other countries lessons on the human rights, but that their own human rights record is shocking.

Faced with the systematic discrimination and oppression of indigenous peoples in these countries, the media in these countries choose to ignore the issues. The United States, Canada and Australia are also making blatant accusations against other countries and imposing unilateral sanctions that have caused disasters in the world, Ambassador Rosales said, calling on the international community to pay attention to the human rights violations committed by these countries and to hold the perpetrators accountable.

Envoys from North Korea and Russia also attended the event and criticized discrimination against indigenous peoples and expressed concern about the human rights situation in the United States, Canada and in Australia.

Tian Li, a researcher from Shandong University who attended the event, said the US government has always adopted double standards on genocide issues – blatantly and baselessly slandering other countries for having committed “genocide” but refusing to admit his crimes against the Native American people.

The United States has refused to sign the human rights conventions and its national laws complicit in the crimes of genocide by Americans abroad and it is difficult for indigenous peoples to obtain justice through the laws, Tian said, noting that experts have also criticized US media for stigmatizing indigenous peoples. and embellish the crimes of genocide.

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