China on Wednesday urged the U.S. and Canada to better respect and guarantee the rights of Indigenous peoples in the post-pandemic economic and social recovery as the pandemic intensified the dilemma of these people in both countries.
A Chinese representative made the remarks during the annual half-day panel discussion of the rights of Indigenous peoples at the 51st regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Vienna.
The pandemic exacerbated the socio-economic rights inequalities, discrimination and marginalization faced by Indigenous peoples for a long time, the representative said, and further presented challenges to the health care of Indigenous communities and food security.
China shows deep concern to Indigenous peoples who suffer from neglect, discrimination, unfair treatment and even abuse, the representative stated, adding that these issues haven’t improved since the economic and social recovery plan implemented in these countries.
The representative stressed that the U.S. and Canada should seriously reflect on the systematic discrimination and oppression suffered by Indigenous peoples in the fields of employment, education, health care, and judicial and social security, and speed up the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, aiming to better safeguard the rights of Indigenous peoples in the post-pandemic recovery.
According to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the U.S. Indian Health Service lacks medical resources, leading to the failure to guarantee the food security of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous women’s rights.
In Canada, the failure to guarantee Indigenous children’s welfare, and rampant violence and crimes against Indigenous women and girls significantly hindered the recovery of Indigenous communities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Cover: Demonstrators rally to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning” organized by the United American Indians of New England, downtown Plymouth, Massachusetts, November 25, 2021. /CFP)