Tribal Leaders prepare to meet with UN Special Rapporteur

by Jan 25, 2011Front Page, NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments


              The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) will host a United Nations expert this week who is studying why Native women face the highest rates of sexual and physical assault of any group in the United States.

Rashida Manjoo

              Rashica Manjoo, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, will visit the EBCI tribal courts, the police department, and the Cherokee Hospital on Jan. 27-28.  Manjoo is only the second UN Special Rapporteur to visit a sovereign Indian nation in the United States.

                “It is an honor for Ms. Manjoo to visit our community,” said Terri Henry, Councilwoman for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and co-chair of the NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Women.  “This visit will allow our community to talk openly about the issue and promote healing. We hope by telling our stories that we will bring about change that allows us to better protect Native women across the United States.”

                 According to U.S. Department of Justice statistics, one out of three Native women will be raped in her lifetime, and three out of four will be physically assaulted.  Indian women are stalked at a rate more than double that of any other population.  These statistics are linked to legal barriers that prevent Indian nations from adequately responding to crimes.

                 Unlike other local communities, Indian nations and Alaska Native villages are legally prohibited from prosecuting non-Indians and tribal courts have restricted sentencing authority for offenders committing acts of sexual and domestic violence that occurs within their tribal lands and communities.  

                  Manjoo will report back to the United Nation’s Council on Human Rights along with recommendations to the United States on how to better protect women’s human rights and to stop the violence.

                  The visit is hosted by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, in partnership with the National Congress of American Indians, Clan Star, Inc., Indian Law Resource Center, and the Sacred Circle National Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women.

– Source: ClanStar