Friday, July 10, 2020

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Article Index

 

Governments' Commitments to Ensuring the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples

 

What commitments have governments made to ensuring the realization of the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples?

Includes excerpts from the:

  • Draft Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples,
  • the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious or Linguistic Minorities, and commitments made at the Earth Summit in Rio, 
  • the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, 
  • the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, 
  • the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen, 
  • the World Conference on Women in Beijing, and
  • the Habitat II conference in Istanbul.

"Indigenous peoples have the right to the full and effective enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.... Indigenous individuals and peoples are free and equal to all other individuals and peoples in dignity and rights, and have the right to be free from any kind of adverse discrimination.... Indigenous peoples have the collective and individual right not to be subjected to ethnocide and cultural genocide, including prevention of and redress for ... any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources.... Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories.... Indigenous peoples have the right to ... be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and development, and to engage freely in all their traditional and other economic activities.... Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain ... their distinctive spiritual and material relationship with the lands ... and other resources which they have traditionally owned ... occupied or used, and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations.... Indigenous peoples have the right to ... full recognition of their laws, traditions and customs, land-tenure systems and institutions for the development and management of resources, and the right to effective measures by States to prevent any interference with, alienation of or encroachment upon these rights.... Indigenous peoples have the right to the restitution of the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used ... which have been confiscated, occupied, used or damaged.... Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands, territories and other resources, including the right to require that States obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands ... and other resources...." --Draft Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Articles 1, 2, 7, 10, 21, 25, 26, 27, and 30

 

"Persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities ... have the right to enjoy their ... culture ... freely and without ... any form of discrimination.... Persons belonging to minorities may exercise their rights ... individually as well as in community with other members of their group, without any discrimination.... States shall ... ensure that persons belonging to minorities may exercise fully and effectively all their human rights and fundamental freedoms without any discrimination and in full equality before the law...." -- Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious or Linguistic Minorities, Articles 2, 3, and 4

 

"Indigenous people ... have a vital role in environmental management and development because of their knowledge and traditional practices. States should ... enable their ... participation in the achievement of sustainable development.... Indigenous people and their communities shall enjoy the full measure of human rights and fundamental freedoms without hindrance or discrimination.... In view of the interrelationship between the natural environment and its sustainable development and the cultural, social, economic and physical well-being of indigenous people, national and international efforts to implement environmentally sound and sustainable development should recognize, accommodate, promote and strengthen the role of indigenous people and their communities. Objectives: ... Recognition that the lands of indigenous people and their communities should be protected from activities that are environmentally unsound or that the indigenous people concerned consider to be socially and culturally inappropriate.... Establishment ... of arrangements to strengthen the active participation of indigenous people and their communities in the national formulation of policies, laws and programmes relating to resource management and other development processes that may affect them...." --Rio Declaration, Principle 22, and Agenda 21, Chapter 26, paras. 1 and 3

 

"The World Conference on Human Rights recognizes the inherent dignity and the unique contribution of indigenous people to the development and plurality of society and strongly reaffirms the commitment of the international community to their economic, social and cultural well-being.... States should ensure the full and free participation of indigenous people in all aspects of society.... States should ... take concerted steps to ensure respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, on the basis of equality and non-discrimination, and recognize the value and diversity of their distinct identities, cultures and social organization.... The World Conference on Human Rights urges States to ensure the full and free participation of indigenous people in all aspects of society, in particular in matters of concern to them...." --Vienna Declaration, Part I, para. 20, and Part II, para. 31

 

"... incorporate the perspectives and needs of indigenous communities into the design, implementation ... and evaluation of ... development and environment programmes that affect them;... Governments should ... enable them to have tenure and manage their lands, protect ... the natural resources and ecosystems on which indigenous communities depend.... A --Cairo Programme of Action, paras. 6.24 and 6.27

 

"We will... respect the right of indigenous people to maintain ... their identity, culture and interests ... and provide an environment that enables them to participate in ... social, economic, and political life...." --Copenhagen Declaration, Commitment 4

 

"We are determined to ... ensure equal enjoyment of all human rights ... for all women and girls who face multiple barriers to their empowerment and advancement because of such factors as their race, age, language, ethnicity, culture, religion, or disability, or because they are indigenous people...." --Beijing Declaration, para. 32

 

"Actions to be taken: ... Integrate women, including indigenous women, their perspectives and knowledge, on an equal basis with men, in decision-making regarding sustainable resource management and the development of policies and programmes for sustainable development, including in particular those designed to address and prevent environmental degradation of the land...." --Beijing Platform for Action, para. 256

 

"In shelter and urban development and management policies, particular attention should be given to the needs and participation of indigenous people. These policies should fully respect their identity and culture and provide an appropriate environment that enables them to participate in political, social and economic life.... We ... commit ourselves to ... Protecting ... the legal traditional rights of indigenous people to land and other resources...." --Habitat Agenda, paras. 14 and 40 

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