Opinion

Albert Bender: UN official hears Indian child welfare concerns





United Nations Human Rights Officer Giorgia Passarelli went to South Dakota to hear concerns about the removal of Indian children from Indian homes:
Following outcry over South Dakota's racist abductions of Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota Sioux children from their families and placement of the children with white foster care families, United Nations Human Rights Officer Giorgia Passarelli recently met with tribal members, relatives of the children taken by the South Dakota Department of Social Services. The UN representative was formally invited by President Bryan Brewer of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

The conference took place August 24 at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The aim of the meeting was twofold: First, Passarelli would provide tribal members with information on filing human rights grievances under the UN Charter charging South Dakota with the crime of genocide. Second, the relatives of the children abducted by DSS would give testimony to the UN representative about the abductions. Tribal members from all of South Dakota's nine reservations were present.

The press was barred as a condition of the meeting at the request of Passarelli. The reason given was that if certain procedures were not followed the UN could not consider the complaints, as this would be in violation of the UN Charter for the processing of human rights violations in a member country. This did not sit well with tribal members who felt that news of the kidnappings needed to be reported.

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Albert Bender: UN rep meets with tribes on abduction of Native children (People's World 10/30)