James Anaya




Special Rapporteur gives expert testimony before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Print
08 July 2011

peritaje-cidhThe Inter-American Commission on Human Rights called on the Special Rapporteur, James Anaya, to present expert testimony on the principles of consultation and consent, during hearings before the Inter-American Court in the case of the Kichwa indigenous peoples of Sarayaku vs. Ecuador on 7 July. The Special Rapporteur presented a short statement on the issue, and responded to a series of questions by representatives of the Sarayaku community, the Inter-American Commission, the State of Ecuador, and the judges of the Inter-American Court.

See the Special Rapporteur's statement here (Spanish only).  -  See webcast.

Perú: Dialogue between government and indigenous peoples must prevail after protests in the Puno region Print
07 July 2011

anayaOn 6 July 2011, the Special Rapporteur issued a public statement in which he urged the Government of Peru and the indigenous leaders in the department of Puno to maintain a dialogue process in order to peacefully resolve conflicts related to mining and oil activities in the region following the recent violence that occurred in the city of Juliaca where five people were killed and over 30 injured. According to the Rapporteur, measures should be agreed upon "such as consultation mechanisms with indigenous peoples, which can be adopted in the context of these extractive activities, in addition to measures addressing the problems associated with harmful effects generated by the mining activity in the region ".

He called for the respect of the right to life and other fundamental human rights during the carrying out of legitimate protests in defense of indigenous peoples’ rights as well as in the response from the police. Similarly, he stressed the need for the Government to clarify the events that occurred during the protests of 24 June in Juliaca and to diligently proceed to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible for the deaths that occurred.

See: Public Statement  (spanish)

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

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

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.


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

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
Meetings with the Special Rapporteur on the rights indigenous peoples during the fourth Session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Print
30 May 2011

logo-hrcThe Special Rapporteur, Professor James Anaya, will hold individual meetings with representatives of indigenous peoples and organizations during the fourth session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in Geneva. The meetings will be held from 12 to 15 July 2011. Representatives of indigenous peoples and organizations may request a meeting with him with regard to matters that fall within his mandate, including allegations of human rights violations.

Requests for a meeting with the Special Rapporteur. Read more

Special Rapporteur addresses the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Print
19 May 2011

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.

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

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.

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

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
New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council in Australia considers United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Print
10 April 2011

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

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