14 Apr, 2018
The 3rd International Indigenous Women’s Symposium on Environment and Reproductive Health

The 3rd International Indigenous Women’s Symposium on Environment and Reproductive Health

  • 8:00 am - 6:30 pm
  • Columbia University, New York City
  • Speaker:


The 3rd International Indigenous Women’s Symposium on Environment and Reproductive Health

Focus: Advancing research and assessing impacts of Environmental Violence on Indigenous Women and Girls
Columbia University, New York City
14-15 April 2018

Organized and sponsored by the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (FIMI), the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Program) at Columbia University and el Fondo para el Desarollo de los Pueblos Indígenas del América Latina y el Caribe (FILAC)

Co-sponsored by: MADRE; Alaska Community Action on Toxics; Tribal Link; and Columbia University’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Native American Law Students Association, If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, Law School, Center for the Study of Social Difference and Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race.

Goals, objectives and projected outcomes of the Symposium
The broader goals of the symposium are 1) to contribute to awareness about the multi-dimensional aspects and impacts of violence against Indigenous women and girls including environmental violence; 2) build and strengthen networks and alliances for research and advocacy between Indigenous women from various regions and the scientific and academic communities; 3) and to build awareness among diverse constituencies, including the broader movements addressing violence against Indigenous women and girls, about the impacts of environmental violence resulting from i) extractive industries, including mining wastes and sexual violence tied to mining activities; ii) pesticides, including the international import and export of banned pesticides; and iii) mercury contamination tied to gold mining, coal burning, and medical/dental exposure.

The objectives of the Symposium are a) to share and assess the state of research and case studies on reproductive health and environmental violence and identify need for further key studies and research; b) to systematize, share and strengthen findings in this field; c) to share experiences of using international mechanisms addressing human rights, environment and sustainable development to seek solutions to the problem; d) to identify gaps and points of further action for various actors, including Indigenous organizations, states, the private sector, intergovernmental bodies, academia, scientists and others; d) to advance the global attention on the problem of environmental violence, and e) contribute to awareness, advocacy and policy change on this issue on the local, national, regional and international levels The papers presented at the symposium, the outcomes and recommendations, and other relevant materials will be published in collaboration with Columbia University.

In preparation for the Symposium a) the organizers will collect and request updates on existing studies and research, including participatory community-based research and studies in Rio Yaqui Sonora Mexico and St. Lawrence Island, Alaska; b) promote more participatory community studies. In that regard, at least two more studies will be carried out before the Symposium, namely: i) a study will be conducted regarding the impact of mercury contamination on reproductive health in relation to “artisanal gold mining” in the autonomous region of Nicaragua in connection with interests of Barrick Gold and other multi-national gold mining companies; ii) a study conducted in Guatemala regarding impacts of mining on Indigenous women and/ or in Kenya Africa regarding impacts of mercury contamination, also resulting from mining. Additional inputs will be sought from Indigenous women in Asia, North America and the Pacific regions including reproductive health impacts of military activities, waste dumping and weapons manufacturing and testing.

Invitees to the Symposium will include Indigenous women from organizations and communities that have conducted participatory community-based research on environmental violence and its impacts on Indigenous women, girls and children; scientists and academics familiar with the topic including those that have collaborated with Indigenous communities to carry out studies including medical doctors and biologists; relevant United Nations intergovernmental organizations (including PAHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN-WOMEN, FAO, UNPFII, EMRIP and IFAD) and others. Participation will not be limited to Indigenous women only, however the participation by and input of Indigenous women will be prioritized.

The format will include multi-regional panels on key issues, presentations of 4-5 case studies, participatory discussion and small group breakout sessions. Approximately 60 participants are expected to attend. Travel and lodging costs for many participants will be mitigated by holding the symposium the weekend before the UNPFII 17th session, which will meet from April 16th – 27th, 2018.

For more information contact: Andrea Carmen, IITC, andrea@treatycouncil.org; Myrna Cunningham, FIMI, myrna.cunningham.kain@gmail.com; or Elsa Stamatopoulou, Institute for the Study of Human Rights (Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Program) at Columbia University, elsaathens@gmail.com.



Connect with us

IPMG Organizing Partners

1 Roman Ayson Road, Baguio City 2600, Philippines
Tel. No. +63 74 444-7703 / Tex Fax +63 74 443-9459
Website: www.tebtebba.org
Email: tebtebba@tebtebba.org

International Indian Treaty Council
2940 16th Street, Suite 305, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
Website: www.iitc.org
Email: info@treatycouncil.org

This initiative is being implemented with funding by the European Union.


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