While advocacy on the domestic level is vital, it is important to recognize that violence against Native American women also has implications in the international arena. The United States government's failure to respond to the epidemic of violence against Native American women is a human rights violation under international law. Advocacy at the international level can complement and strengthen advocacy efforts on the domestic level.
International advocacy can:
• raise awareness of and inform the international community about the epidemic of violence against Native women;
• educate legislators and policy makers in the United States about their international human rights obligations to Native women;
• provide new legal arguments for increasing protection of Native women from violence;
• mobilize other human rights groups to engage with the United States on this issue;
• allow international human rights bodies to comment on United States' actions and whether they meet the United States' international obligations; and
• increase pressure on the United States by shaming it in the international arena.
How Can International Human Rights Law be Used to Reduce Violence Against Native Women?
If you can write a letter or email your member of Congress, you can use international human rights to end violence against Native women. It is really that simple.
Here are a few examples of how Native women's organizations and tribes have engaged in advocacy at the international level to reduce violence against Native women.
- Thematic Hearing Before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: “Violence Against Native Women in the United States” | October 2011
- Violence Against Native Women Gains Global Attention
- IACHR hearing on Violence Against Native Women: Inter-American Commission Hearing has U.S. Officials and Native Advocates Agreeing that the Violence Must End
- IACHR Decision Brings Hope to Native Women: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights says U.S. violated its obligations under international human rights laws. | August 18, 2011Native Women File Amicus Brief in Gonzales v. United States | November 2008
- The Inter-American Human Rights System ─ Combating Violence Against Native Women in the United States | A compilation of resources documenting the Center’s advocacy within the Inter-American Human Rights System to combat violence against Native women in the United States.