Rights expert urges Denmark and Greenland to consider the impact of colonial heritage — Global issues

Development will represent an important measure to solve the injustices of the past and create a more inclusive societyspeak United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoplesJosé Francisco Cali Tzay, in statement at the end of a 10-day visit to the two countries.

The Inuit make up nearly 90% of the population of Greenland, a self-governing territory dependent on Denmark that was a colony until 1953.

According to Cali Tzay, they still face barriers to fully enjoy their human rights.

Women are forced to sterilize

“I am particularly appalled by the testimonies of Inuit women who reported that Danish health care providers had placed an intrauterine device (IUD) in place. without their knowledge or consent. Some of them are only 12 years old,” he said. speak.

Mr. Cali Tzay recalls reports of Inuit women living in Denmark having children taken from them without their knowledge and consent and were placed in a Danish foster care facility.

He called on Denmark to review out-of-home care assessment procedures for Inuit children and address structural bias in care services.

Abuse, poverty and suicide

Meanwhile, Greenland still faces many social challenges related to poverty and lack of suitable housing, appropriate quality education and scarce mental health support, he added.

“About 20% of children in Greenland are estimated to have experienced sexual violence and abuse,” he said, adding that the country has the highest suicide rate in the world.

During his assignment, the Special Rapporteur observed a lack of established mechanisms to exercise Inuit rights. right to free, prior and informed consentincluding when allocating tourist concessions, undertaking business ventures and passing legislative and administrative acts in Greenland.

Consult the Inuit

“I urge the government of Greenland to consult with the Inuit, whose traditional livelihoods will be directly impacted by mining, tourism and infrastructure expansion plans, ‘ said the UN expert.

He also praised Greenland’s widespread self-governance as “an inspiring example of a Indigenous self-government in practice and a peace process towards self-determination for indigenous peoples around the world.”

About the UN Rapporteur

Special Rapporteurs like Cali Tzay receive assignments from the UN Dong Nhan Quyen Associationbased in Geneva.

They are appointed to monitor and report on specific thematic issues or national situations.

These professionals act as individuals and are independent of any government or organization.

They are not employees of the UN and do not receive a salary for their work.


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