Investigate it, Stop it, Ensure justice

Amnesty International is advocating alongside partner organizations to end forced and coerced sterilization of Indigenous peoples in Canada. We are calling on government to do three things: investigate it, stop it, and ensure justice for survivors.

Canadian and international media are reporting on the ongoing practice of coerced of forced sterilizations of Indigenous women in Canada. Here’s what you need to know.

What is forced sterilization and coerced sterilization?

Forced sterilization is when a person is sterilized (via tubal ligation) without their knowledge or informed consent.

“Sterilization under coercion” is when people give their consent for the procedure, but on the basis of incorrect information (i.e. women being told the procedure is reversable) or other coercive tactics such as intimidation or that conditions are attached to sterilization, such as financial incentives or access to health services.

Forced and coerced sterilizations are a form of gender-based violence and torture.

Get involved

Sign our online petition to the government of Canada

Write a letter to provincial and territorial health ministers

Collect petition signatures

Learn more

Backgrounder on the issue

Interview with leading expert Alisa Lombard

Joint civil society statement to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Sterilizing women without consent is torture, says UN Committee

Amnesty International Submission to Senate Human Rights Committee on Sterilization without Consent

Amnesty International Submission to House of Commons Standing Committee on Health on Sterilization without Consent

“He doesn’t think another Indian girl should bear children”: Morningstar Mercredi on being sterilized without her consent

Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights report on forced and coerced sterilization

Where to disclose

If you are an Indigenous woman in Canada and you have been sterilized without your free, full, and informed consent, and you want to confidentially disclose what happened to you, you may wish to contact Semaganis Worm Lombard Law, the Indigenous law firm leading the proposed class action law suit representing Indigenous women who were sterilized without their consent. See Semaganis Worme Lombard Law website for details. You can fill out their online form, and an Indigenous woman lawyer will contact you by phone. Health supports are available from Hope for Wellness Helpline.

Further reading

Amended statement of claim, proposed class action law suit, Saskatchewan

External Review: Tubal ligation in the Saskatoon Health Region: The Lived Experience of Aboriginal Women

UN Committee Against Torture, recommendations to Canada

House of Commons Standing Committee on Health letter to Cabinet Ministers, July 2019


#DefendConsent #ForcedSterilizations

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