Megan Davis appeared before the UN Human Rights Council, Palais des Nations in Geneva

Professor Megan Davis appeared before the 21st session of the UN Human Rights Council, Palais des Nations in Geneva on a Access to Justice panel in Geneva on 18 September 2012.  Professor Davis was invited by the President of the Human Rights Council to speak about the barriers to access to justice for Indigenous women.

Professor Davis spoke about her report as Rapporteur of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Expert Group Meeting on Violence against Indigenous Women in January 2012 and how ineffective access to justice for women, especially in the context of domestic violence, exacerbates harm for indigenous women.  

She highlighted a lack of data collection and lack of disaggregated data as one of the barriers to a fair administration of justice for indigenous women, she said there was "no accuracy in the recording of indigeneity and the recording of violence and this prevents the linkage of data through service systems".

Professor Davis also highlighted cultural barriers: In many communities it is reported that there are cultural barriers to access to justice: discussion of violence against indigenous women by indigenous men is taboo and indigenous women are accused of being “disloyal” or “corrupted by Western concepts”. 

She also referred to research conducted by her and Dr Kyllie Cripps at the Indigenous Law Centre, Faculty of Law on ways communities are working to combat violence in communities where access to justice emerged as a significant obstacle to addressing violence against women.

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