UNSR James Anaya

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22
Jun
2011
Bill on Indigenous Jurisdiction in Ecuador must take indigenous peoples’ laws, customs, and traditions as its starting point Print

video conferencie On June 16, 2011, the Special Rapporteur participated in a videoconference with members of the Justice and Structure Commission of the Ecuadorean National Assembly where he presented his observations and recommendations concerning the bill on Coordination and Cooperation between Indigenous and National Justice Systems to the Commission members, other Assembly members, State officials and members of civil society present at the main hall of the National Assembly. The Special Rapporteur stressed the importance of using as a starting point, the actual exercise of jurisdiction by indigenous peoples based on their own norms and cultures in order to address critical issues such as the subject matter, personal and territorial jurisdiction that indigenous authorities in charge of administering justice would have. He also highlighted the need that the discussion of these issues not be based on negative perceptions about indigenous justice systems in the country and to avoid any unjustified restriction of indigenous peoples’ rights of self-government, self-determination and cultural integrity.

See the Webcast here.[spanish]

 

Tags: Ecuador
 
10
Jun
2011
U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs holds hearing on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Print

unsr-us-senateThe Special Rapporteur was among a number of experts and indigenous leaders who testified at a hearing of the United States Committee on Indian Affairs entitled, "Setting the Standard: The Domestic Policy Implication of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples," held in Washington, D.C. on June 9, 2011.

Information on the hearing can be found here.  Webcast here.
See the testimony of the Special Rapporteur before the Committee.

 

 
02
Jun
2011
Special Rapporteur makes recommendations to address situation of El Diquís dam in Costa Rica Print

costarica-mapThe Special Rapporteur released his observations and recommendations on the measures needed to address the human rights concerns related to the proposed construction of the Diquís hydroelectric project in Costa Rica. If built according to current plans, the project will result in the flooding of ten percent of the traditional territory of the Teribe people, and will also impact other indigenous groups in the area. In his note on the situation, the Special Rapporteur provided detailed observations on the measures needed to consult with affected indigenous groups, making the specific recommendation that a team of independent experts be formed to help facilitate the consultation process. The Special Rapporteur also recommended that the Government address underlying issues affecting indigenous peoples in the country, specifically in relation to land tenure, representation, and the advancing of a law on indigenous peoples. See full note here [Spanish only].

Tags: Costa Rica
 
19
May
2011
Special Rapporteur addresses the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Print

unpfii-2011In his statement to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, during its annual meeting in New York, the Special Rapporteur provided an overview of his activities over the past year, including his work coordinating with other relevant human rights mechanisms and agencies and his work within his four principle work areas: thematic studies, country reports, communications regarding specific cases of human rights violations, and promoting best practices. He also offered some brief comments and reflections on the Permanent Forum’s work, and made observations on measures that could be taken to continue to realize ever-greater potential of the Forum to advance indigenous peoples’ rights. His specific observations related to the Permanent Forum’s mandate to prepare and disseminate information on indigenous issues and its mandate to raise awareness and promote the integration and coordination of activities related to indigenous issues within the United Nations system.

See complete statement here.

 
11
May
2011
WIPO initiative on indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge and cultural expressions should adhere to international human rights standards Print

wipoThe Special Rapportuer gave the keynote speech at the opening of the eighteenth session of the World Intellectual Property Organization's Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folkore, on May 9 in Geneva. In his speech he stressed that indigenous peoples' demands to maintain control over their traditional knowledge and cultural expressions are grounded in widely applicable principles of fundamental human rights. The WIPO committee is currently drafting text for international legal instruments on traditional knowledge, genetic resources, and traditional cultural expressions.

See the summary of the Special Rapporteurs keynote speech. Information on the work of the committee can be found here.

 
28
Apr
2011
Consultation required prior to any decision to advance with the Diquis hydroelectric project in Costa Rica Print

2011-04-27-anaya-costaricaThe UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, undertook a visit to Costa Rica from 24-27 April 2011 to discuss the situation of indigenous peoples, in particular the Térraba people, affected by the Diquís hydroelectric project. At the end of his four-day visit, the Special Rapporteur noted that "All parties agree that it is necessary to initiate a consultation process that complies with relevant international standards before the hydroelectric project Diquis can move forward."

During his visit, the Special Rapporteur met in San Jose with several government representatives, including from the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), the agency responsible for the Diquis hydroelectric project, as well as with representatives of indigenous peoples, the UN country team, members of the international community, and others. In Térraba, he visited the site of the proposed dam site along with representatives from ICE and heard from several indigenous groups, in particular the Térraba people. See press release announcing the visit here [Spanish only].

Tags: Costa Rica
 
10
Apr
2011
New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council in Australia considers United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Print

alc-australiaDelegates attending the biennial conference of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, the main representative body in Aboriginal affairs in the state of New South Wales, Australia, discussed the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a benchmark for major aspects of the organization´s work. The Special Rapporteur, James Anaya, gave the keynote address at the conference, focusing on the Declaration and linking it with the conference theme, "Be Informed, Be Involved, Be Inspired". The conference brings together the 119 local aboriginal land councils throughout New South Wales every two years to discuss work and exchange information and experiences. Read more about the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council here. Read Professor Anaya's keynote speech here.


Tags: Australia
 
31
Mar
2011
Questionnaire on natural resource extraction and development projects on or near indigenous territories Print

logo-oacnudhThe Special Rapporteur is currently carrying out a study on the rights of indigenous peoples in relation to natural resource extraction and development projects affecting them, in light of the high level of information he has received from indigenous peoples expressing concerns about this issue. An important component of this study will be the eventual development of a set of guidelines directed at States, corporations and indigenous peoples on the duty to consult with indigenous peoples in relation to natural resource extraction and development projects.

To gather information for the preparation of this study, the Special Rapporteur has developed a questionnaire for indigenous peoples and organizations, NGOs, and other interested parties.  Please fill out the questionnaire here:  English, French, Spanish.

The Special Rapporteur has also developed a special questionnaire for business enterprises [English, Spanish] and States [English, Spanish].

Please indicate in your response whether you represent an indigenous people or organization; a business enterprise or a State.

 
30
Mar
2011
International development cooperation must advance indigenous self-determination Print

consults"The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples calls for a new model of development, one that advances indigenous self-determination and offers real opportunities for partnership", the Special Rapporteur told German government officials and others participating in an expert workshop in Berlin on March 29, 2011.

The Special Rapporteur gave the keynote presentation at the expert workshop, which was convened by the German Federal Ministry on Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to address German development cooperation in Africa and Asia. See a summary of the Special Rapporteur´s presentation and the workshop programe.

 
17
Mar
2011
Suriname: UN expert calls for further dialogue on indigenous and tribal land issues Print

surinam-mapaPARAMARIBO – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, called for further contact between the authorities and the indigenous and tribal peoples of Surinam, and reiterated his readiness to assist with efforts to advance their land and resource rights.

"I look forward to continued dialogue with the Government and with the indigenous and tribal peoples of Suriname, in order to provide further guidance on the practical steps necessary to move forward with securing indigenous and tribal land rights, in accordance with relevant international treaties to which Suriname is a part," Mr. Anaya said at the end of the first visit ever to the country by a human rights independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council.

Read more

Tags: Suriname
 
04
Mar
2011
Report on natural resource extraction and the Marlin Mine in Guatemala Print

guatemala-huehuetenango-2010The Special Rapporteur has issued his report on the Situation of indigenous peoples of Guatemala in relation to natural resource extraction projects, and other projects, in their traditional territories. In an appendix to the report, he analyzes the human rights situation of communities affected by the Marlin mine in the municipalities of San Miguel Ixtahuacán and Sipacapa, department of San Marcos.

In the report, the Special Rapporteur notes that Guatemala is currently experiencing a high degree of social unrest in connection with the natural resource extraction activities taking place in the traditional territories of indigenous peoples, which has serious impacts on indigenous peoples' rights, and threatens governance and economic development. With his observations, the Special Rapporteur aims to identify the underlying causes of current problems, in order to help address these problems through specific recommendations in the light of relevant international standards. See advanced unedited version of the report (Spanish only)


Tags: Guatemala
 
24
Feb
2011
Report on situation of Maori people in New Zealand Print

flag-nzealand-unThe Special Rapporteur's report examines the situation of Māori people in New Zealand on the basis of information received during the Special Rapporteur's visit to the country from 18-23 July 2010 and independent research. The visit was carried out in follow up to the 2005 visit of the previous Special Rapporteur, Professor Rodolfo Stavenhagen. The report's principal focus is an examination of the process for settling historical and contemporary claims based on the Treaty of Waitangi, although other key issues are also addressed. See full report here [English only] (advanced unedited version).

Tags: New Zealand
 
15
Feb
2011
Special Rapporteur calls for dialogue in Panama in light of protests against reforms to the law on mineral resources Print

panama-demostrationIn recent weeks, indigenous peoples and organizations have carried out numerous protests, in light of discussions surrounding and approval by the Panamanian National Assembly of Bill N. 277 to amend the Law on Mineral Resources. These demonstrations have resulted in clashes with security forces in which several people were injured and arrested. In light of this situation, the Special Rapporteur urges the Government of Panama to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of persons participating in the demonstrations . At the same time, the Special Rapporteur notes the importance of initiating, without delay, a good faith dialogue with indigenous peoples, in order to find a peaceful solution to this tense situation and address the underlying problems related to the proposed amendments to the Law on Mineral Resources.

See the press statement [Spanish only].

 
13
Feb
2011
Special Rapporteur concludes mission to New Caledonia Print

nva-caledonia-mapThe Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, issued the following statement up on the conclusion of his mission to New Caledonia.

Noumea, New Caledonia, 13 February 2011 - "In my capacity as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, I have conducted a visit to New Caledonia from 4 to 13 February 2011.... The objective of my visit has been to hold consultations and receive information in order to examine the human rights situation of the indigenous people of the country – the Kanak people – while recognizing fully the history of New Caledonia. I have sought to understand the approaches that the Government of France as well as the Government of New Caledonia and the Kanak people have chosen in their efforts to progressively achieve a harmonious and productive coexistence among all sectors of the country's population, through implementation of the Noumea Accord of 1998...."

See complete statement in English and French.

Tags: France
 
31
Jan
2011
Regional consultation on UN-REDD Programme with indigenous peoples and forest- dependent communities in Africa Print

onu-redd-logo2From 24-27 January 2010, in Arusha, Tanzania, the Support Project for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples participated in the final regional consultation carried out by the United Nations Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD) with indigenous peoples and other forest dependent communities. This workshop followed previous consultations in the Asia region in June 2010 and in the Latin American and Caribbean region in October 2010.

The purpose of the consultation was to gather input for the development of guidelines on the principle of free, prior and informed consent in relation to the development of forest management projects in the context of the UN-REDD Programme. See UN-REDD Programme website .

 
25
Jan
2011
Update of OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises should incorporate commitment to indigenous rights Print

OECDThe OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises should advance compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Special Rapportuer stressed at a meeting with a working group of state delegates to the Organziation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris on 25 January, 2011.

The working group is currently developing an updated version of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, which are intended to advance responsible business practices by companies from or operating in OECD member and other states accepting the Guidelines. The Special Rapportuer also called on the the working group to consult directly with indigenous peoples on the update of the Guidelines, since indigenous peoples often are directly affected by multinational enterprises, especially those seeking to extract the natural resources found within indigneous territories.

Information on the update of the OECD Guidelines can be found here
See PDF: Summary of remarks, Professor James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

 
13
Jan
2011
Report examines situation of Sami people in the Sápmi region of Norway, Sweden and Finland Print

sapmiOn 13 January 2011 the Special Rapporteur made public and presented his report via videoconference at a gathering of Sami leaders and observers at the University of Tromso, Norway. In his report, the Special Rapporteur notes that overall, Norway, Sweden, and Finland each place a high level of attention to indigenous issues. However, more remains to be done to ensure that the Sami people can pursue their self-determination and develop their common goals as a people living across more than one State, as well as enjoy within each of the States in which they live the full range of rights that are guaranteed for indigenous peoples in contemporary international instruments. The Special Rapporteur makes a series of recommendations, in light of relevant international standards, to assist with ongoing efforts to advance the rights of Sami people throughout the Sápmi region. See advanced unedited version of the report here [English only].

 
12
Jan
2011
Concerns raised about actions against Rapa Nui protesters in Easter Island, Chile Print

mapa-rapanuiThe Special Rapporteur communicated his concern to the Government of Chile for the violent evictions, and the threat of possible future evictions, of members of the Rapa Nui people, who since July 2010 have peacefully occupied buildings and other places in Easter Island, Chile, to demand recognition of their rights to ancestral lands. The Special Rapporteur encourages the Government to prevent further evictions and to ensure that the police presence on the island does not exceed what is necessary and proportionate to ensure the safety of the island’s inhabitants. He urges the Government to make every effort to carry out a good faith dialogue with representatives of the Rapa Nui people to resolve, as soon as possible, the underlying issues in the current situation.  See the complete statement [Spanish only].

Tags: Chile
 
07
Jan
2011
Adoption of law on indigenous peoples by the Republic of Congo an important precedent for Africa Print

congo-bz-womenProfessor Anaya notes that the passage of a law on indigenous peoples by the National Assembly of the Republic of Congo on 30 December 2010, following approval by the Senate, marks a significant step in recognizing and protecting the rights of marginalized indigenous peoples of the country, including groups such as the Baaka, Mbendjele, Mikaya, Luma, Gyeli, Twa and Babongo, which collectively have been known as Pygmies. Once signed by the President, this law will be the first of its kind on the African Continent, providing an important example of a good practice in the region for the recognition and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples. See full statement.

 
17
Dec
2010
UN expert welcomes United States’ endorsement of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Print

onu(The following statement is issued by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya)

GENEVA (17 December 2010) – “I am elated that President Barack Obama has just announced the United States’ support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a groundbreaking development for Native Americans and all those who seek greater protection for human rights across the globe. The United States now joins the vast majority of the world’s States that have endorsed the Declaration, an affirmation of indigenous equality and self-determination that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007. Read more

Tags: USA
 
12
Nov
2010
Significant steps taken to protect indigenous rights in Congo, but major challenges remain Print

congo-bzUpon conclusion of his visit to the Republic of Congo, the Special Rapporteur commended the Government for the significant steps it is taking to recognize and protect the rights of marginalized indigenous peoples of the country. Significant challenges remain, however to advance and implement these initiatives so that they can result in real improvement in the conditions of these peoples. During his 11 day visit to the Congo, the Special Rapporteur visited a number of indigenous communities in the departments of Likouala and Lekoumou, and met with many government officials, United Nations agencies, and civil society organizations in Brazzaville. See the full press statement here [English and French].

 
29
Oct
2010
The Special Rapporteur on mission to the Republic of Congo Print

congomapThe Special Rapporteur is carrying out a visit the Republic of Congo to monitor the situation of those indigenous people who are not part of the majority or dominant ethnic groups of the Republic of Congo, which make up about 10 percent of the total population of the Republic of Congo and live mainly in the remote areas furthest from the capital, Brazzaville. The Special Rapporteur is visiting Brazzaville, Impfondo and Dongou (Likouala Department), Dolisie and Sibiti (Lekoumou Department) to hold discussions with government representatives, indigenous communities and civil society groups.
See press release announcing the visit.

 
18
Oct
2010
Annual report to General Assembly highlights development, participation and UN Declaration Print

anaya-report-unresize

On 18 October 2010, the Special Rapporteur presented his second annual report to the United Nations General Assembly in New York during its 65th session. See his statement to the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee) of the General Assembly and UN Press Release, which includes a summary of the discussion about the report. In his report, the Special Rapporteur informs about his activities over the past year and also discusses three key issues: the right of indigenous peoples to development with culture and identity, the right of indigenous peoples to participation, and the obligation of States to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. See Report to the General Assembly. Read UN News Centre article.

 
03
Oct
2010
Chile arrives at agreement with Mapuche protesters in hunger strike; Special Rapporteur issues public statement on situation Print

chileOn 1 October 2010, the Government of Chile arrived at an agreement with Mapuche prisoners who had been in a hunger strike for 82 days in the Concepción, Temuco, Lebu and Valdivia jails. See the agreement here [Spanish only]. In the document, the Government agreed to desist from pursing charges of terrorism against Mapuche protestors and to reconsider these charges under ordinary criminal law. This agreement follows a statement issued by the Special Rapporteur on 24 September 2010, which called upon Chile to initiate a good faith dialogue with representatives of the Mapuche prisoners in the hunger strike and to enact appropriate reforms to the Anti-Terrorism Law and Military Justice Law. See the statement of the Special Rapporteur here [Spanish only]

Tags: Chile
 
20
Sep
2010
Annual report to Human Rights Council addresses corporate responsibility and country situations Print

hrc2010On 20 September 2010, the Special Rapporteur presented his annual report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. See his statement to the Council and the webcast of the presentation of his report and the subsequent interactive dialogue. The Special Rapporteur dedicated his annual report to the thematic issue of the responsibilities of corporations to respect the rights of indigenous peoples, especially in relation to the extraction of resources in their lands. Included as addendums to his annual report are his report on cases examined 2009-2010; his reports on the situations of indigenous peoples in Botswana, Colombia, Australia, the Russian Federation, and Ecuador; and preliminary notes on the situations and cases concerning indigenous peoples in New Zealand, Guatemala, and the Sápmi region of Nordic countries. See Country Reports page.

See webcast

 
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