Friday, July 10, 2020

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Article Index

Governments' Obligations to Ensuring the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples

 

What provisions of human rights law guarantee the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples?

Includes excerpts from the :

  • ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (No. 169), 
  • the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 
  • the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
  • the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
  • the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 
  • the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 
  • the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and 
  • the Convention against Discrimination in Education.

"Governments shall have the responsibility for ... Ensuring that [indigenous] peoples benefit on an equal footing from the rights and opportunities which national laws and regulations grant to other members of the population.... Indigenous and tribal peoples shall enjoy ... human rights ... without ... discrimination.... Governments shall ... Establish means by which [indigenous] peoples can freely participate ... at all levels of decision-making in ... institutions and ... bodies responsible for policies and programmes which concern them.... The peoples ... shall have the right to decide their own priorities for ... development as it affects their lives ... and the lands they occupy ... and to exercise control ... over their ... development.... [G]overnments shall respect the special importance ... of their relationship with the lands....The rights of ownership and possession ... over the lands which they traditionally occupy shall be recognized.... Measures shall be taken ... to safeguard the right of the peoples concerned to use lands ... to which they have traditionally had access for their subsistence and traditional activities.... The rights of the peoples concerned to the natural resources pertaining to their lands shall be specially safeguarded. These rights include the right of these peoples to participate in the use, management and conservation of these resources.... Governments shall take steps ...to guarantee effective protection of their rights of ownership and possession.... The peoples concerned shall not be removed from the lands which they occupy.... Procedures established by the peoples concerned for the transmission of land rights among members of these peoples shall be respected.... National agrarian programs shall secure to the peoples concerned treatment equivalent to that accorded to other sectors of the population with regard to: the provision of more land for these peoples when they have not the area necessary for providing the essentials of a normal existence, or for any possible increase in their numbers; the provision of the means required to promote the development of the lands which these peoples already posess." --ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, (No. 169), Articles 2, 3, 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 19

 

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.... Everyone is entitled to ... rights ... without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour,... language, religion,... national or social origin,... or other status.... All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination ... and against any incitement to ... discrimination.... Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment...." --Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 1, 2, 7, and 23

 

"States Parties...undertake to guarantee that ... rights ... will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, ... language, religion,... national or social origin,... or other status.... The States Parties ... recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses...." --International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Articles 2 and 6

 

"Each State Party ... undertakes to ... ensure ... rights ... without distinction of any kind.... All persons shall be equal before the courts.... Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property or birth, the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor.... All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.... The law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground..... In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language." --International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Articles 2,14, 24, 26 and 27

 

"The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide ... is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.... [Genocide] means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group...: Killing members of the groups; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." --Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Articles 1 and 2

 

"States Parties condemn racial discrimination and undertake to pursue by all appropriate means ... a policy of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms.... Each State Party undertakes to engage in no act ... of racial discrimination.... States Parties undertake to prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, colour, national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, ... the enjoyment of ... political rights ... civil rights ... economic, social and cultural rights, in particular: the right to work, ... to just and favourable conditions or work...; the right to housing; ... to public health, medical care, social security and social services; the right to education and training.... States Parties shall assure ... effective protection and remedies ... against any acts of racial discrimination.... " --Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Articles 2, 5, and 6

 

"States Parties shall respect and ensure ... rights ... to each child ... without discrimination of any kind irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child's parents, legal guardians, or family members.... States Parties recognize the important function performed by the mass media and shall ensure that the child has access to information.... States Parties shall ... Encourage the mass media to have particular regard to the linguistic needs of the child who belongs to a minority group or who is indigenous.... States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and ... shall ... make primary education compulsory and available free to all; ... make [secondary education] available and accessible to every child...; make higher education accessible to all.... States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to ... the development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values.... In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origin exist, a child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practice his or her own religion, or to use his or her own language. " --Convention on the Rights of the Child, Articles 2, 17, 28, 29, and 30

 

"... States Parties ... undertake: To ... discontinue any ... practices which involve discrimination in education.... It is essential to recognize the right of members of national minorities to carry on their own educational activities, including the maintenance of schools and ... the use or the teaching of their own language...." --Convention against Discrimination in Education, Articles 3 and 5

 

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