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Canada must stop discrimination against indigenous people: UN

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file photo, protesters from the Idle No More movement gather outside the British Consulate in Toronto, Canada. ©AP

The United Nations Human Rights Committee says Canada must support the rights of indigenous people and stop discriminatory measures against them.

The Geneva-based body, in a report released on Thursday, stated that Canada still has a lot of work to do for its aboriginals, demanding that the Canadian government swiftly stop discrimination against indigenous women and children.

It also pointed to the disappearances and killings of indigenous women, noting that the Canadian government needs to address the abuse of aboriginals in prison, and offer essential health care services to them.

Many natives in Canada live in poor conditions with unsafe drinking water, inadequate housing, addiction, and high suicide rates. Canada's 1.4 million indigenous people constitute 4.3 percent of the country’s total population.

Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Committee has expressed concern over Canada’s new anti-terrorism act, which was passed by the parliament last month.

It argued that the legislation grants the Canadian government sweeping powers but stops short of providing legal safeguards to protect political and civil rights of people.

The UN Human Rights Committee also urged Canadian officials to consider rewriting the law to ensure it does not run afoul of international human rights standards.

This is while a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Stephen Blaney has said Canada stands by the legislation.

"These are reasonable measures similar to those used by our close allies to protect their own citizens," Jeremy Laurin commented.

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