UNSR on Indigenous People releases Report on his visit to Colombia in the context of follow up to the recommendations made by his predecessor Print
11 January 2010

GENEVA (11 January 2010) - The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people made the following statement:

"It is clear that the State of Colombia pays attention to indigenous issues and to the development of plans and proposals to address the recommendations of my predecessor; however, I am worried about the many indications according to which the situation of indigenous people in the country has not been addressed with the urgency which the gravity of the situation merits, " said the UN expert in a report released today.

"In general, laws, programs and government policies do not allow for effective protection and implementation of human rights of indigenous peoples in the country," said the Special Rapporteur.

Today, the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, Professor James Anaya, made public his report on the situation of indigenous people in Colombia which he visited from 22 to 27 July 2009. This report presents the observations of Mr. Anaya in the context of follow- up to the recommendations of the previous Special Rapporteur on indigenous people, Professor Rodolfo Stavenhagen, issued in his 2004 report.

The report shows that the situation of indigenous people is exacerbated and intensified because of the internal armed conflict affecting the country. "I received information about an extremely worrying situation of violence and other crimes against indigenous people, as well as forced displacement and confinement, which threatens the physical and cultural survival of indigenous people of the country," said Professor Anaya.

Despite the significant level of attention from the State of Colombia to indigenous issues, the report reveals that there are still big challenges facing the Government to meet its obligations to effectively protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, including in the areas of rights to land and to natural resources and in relation to prior consultation with indigenous peoples in decisions affecting them. At the same time, there are significant gaps in the overall effective enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights of indigenous people in comparison with the average general population.

In his report, the Special Rapporteur makes a number of recommendations in order to help to address challenges and achieve substantial progress in the recognition and protection of human rights of indigenous peoples in the country, in accordance with the obligations and commitments of the State in this field.
Tags: Colombia