Breaking the Silence on Violence against Indigenous Girls, Adolescents and Young Women

Resource date: 2013


Publisher: UNICEF


Violence against women and girls is a pervasive violation of human rights that persists worldwide and cuts across all socio-economic groups. This new collaborative study aims to provide a deeper understanding of the magnitude, nature and context of violence experienced specifically by indigenous girls, adolescents and young women.

Drawing on examples from Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, the study assesses the interface between the historical, political, economic, social and cultural contexts of indigenous peoples, and examines the types of violence they face, their prevalence and the settings in which they take place. The report looks at different interventions underway and offers insights and comprehensive recommendations – including a set of guiding principles – to accelerate progress and action to protect and prevent violence against indigenous girls and women in all its forms.

The study provides clear evidence that indigenous girls, adolescents and young women face a higher prevalence of violence, harmful practices, labor exploitation, and harassment, and are more vulnerable to sexual violence in armed conflicts. It also underscores that violence against indigenous girls and women cannot be separated from the wider contexts of discrimination and exclusion to which indigenous peoples as a whole are often exposed in social, economic, cultural and political life.

Addressing discrimination and engaging with indigenous girls and women to implement accessible initiatives geared towards ending the unacceptable cycle of violence and impunity is an imperative for all countries.

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