James Anaya




Special Rapporteur calls for dialogue in Panama in light of protests against reforms to the law on mineral resources Print
15 February 2011

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].

Special Rapporteur concludes mission to New Caledonia Print
13 February 2011

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
Mission to New Caledonia Print
03 February 2011

New CaledoniaThe UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Professor James Anaya, will conduct a visit to New Caledonia from 6 to 13 February 2011, with the cooperation of the Government of France, to assess the human rights situation of the indigenous Kanak people. During his visit, the Special Rapporteur will meet with representatives of the Kanak people and local government authorities, as well as with representatives of civil society. The Special Rapporteur will visit Noumea, Kone, Thio, Sarramea, Lifou, Ouvea and Goro. In March, Professor Anaya will travel to Paris to meet with French government officials that deal with New Caledonia.

See media advisory in English, French and Spanish.

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

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 .

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

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

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

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].

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

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
Adoption of law on indigenous peoples by the Republic of Congo an important precedent for Africa Print
07 January 2011

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.

Significant steps taken to protect indigenous rights in Congo, but major challenges remain Print
12 November 2010

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].

After years of struggle, Awas Tingni community in Nicaragua gains title recognizing its traditional territory (Dec. 2008) Print
25 December 2008

awasSpecial Rapporteur James Anaya attended the title-granting ceremony in Awas Tingni. Read his commentary on the event.

Tags: Nicaragua

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