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OTTAWA — Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is calling the forced sterilization of Indigenous women a "gross human-rights violation" that must immediately end.

Bellegarde says the scope of the problem must be examined across Canada, and the practice is reprehensible.

He also points to a resolution passed by First Nations chiefs this summer at the AFN annual general assembly calling for increased awareness about the issue, efforts to stop it and support for survivors seeking redress. Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde pauses while speaking during the AFN annual general assembly, in Vancouver on Thursday, July 26, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck Bellegarde’s comments come as Maurice Law, a Canadian law firm, and Amnesty International Canada look to raise the issue at the United Nations Committee Against Torture this month.

In its submission to the UN committee, the firm says it is seeking to advance legal reforms on the "modern-day forced sterilization of Indigenous women in publicly funded and administered hospitals in Canada."

The firm is leading a proposed class action against all health regions across Saskatchewan, the federal and Saskatchewan governments and individual medical professionals.

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