Human Rights Council


Beryl Onyemenam

Cite as

Committee: UN Human Rights Council Topic: Measures to Minimize Female Infanticide in Southern and Eastern Asian states

Canada wishes to echo the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces’ classification of female infanticide as a "secret genocide" that is being carried out against women. Indeed, Amartya Sen estimates the number missing women in Southern and Eastern Asia at over 50 million women due to female infanticide and other similar practices which express a bias towards having male children. Canada is one of many countries that recognize the equal value of both sexes and has embedded this value system into our culture and social norms. We have also embedded this system into our legislation as far back as 1982 when the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms enshrined the principles of gender equality in employment, public life, and education. These principles are also reflected in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the 1998 Multiculturalism Act, which introduced measures to protect and promote the rights of aboriginal women and foreigners. Historically the practice of female infanticide was a common occurrence among the Inuit of Northern Alaska and Canada. Today infanticide is a crime punishable by law, with the perpetrator standing up to face 5 years in prison. Additionally, it is the position of the Canadian Children's Rights Council that a baby's life is as valuable as an adult’s and we strive to implement new laws and practices, which enforce that bel...