Dear UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, President of Sámediggi, the Sami Parliament in Norway, Director of the Norwegian National Human Rights Institution, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased to be with you today to address an important issue – violence and abuse in Indigenous communities. I want to thank the Sámi Parliament of Norway and the Norwegian National Human Rights Institution for organising this side-event.
Violence and abuse is a global challenge. It is a gender equality issue – and it is a human rights issue.
Research shows that Sami women are exposed to violence more often than ethnic Norwegian women. Studies also indicates that Sami experience both language and cultural challenges – and barriers in their interaction with the police and support services. This reflects the importance of victims being able to communicate in their own language when speaking to public officials.
The Norwegian government’s view is clear. Violence against women, including domestic violence are serious crimes. We must prevent it, and we must combat it. We need to put in place measures to help and protect the victims, and to treat and prosecute the perpetrators.
I am glad that the Sami Parliament and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security have agreed to work together to acquire better knowledge of domestic violence in Sami communities, and that the Ministry and the Sami Parliament also are cooperating on preventive measures and assistance in Sami communities.
I look forward to hearing more about your experiences and further debate on this important issue.