James Anaya




Guatemala. UN experts call for an investigation into the violence in Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán Print
12 October 2012

oacGeneva (12 October 2012) A group of United Nations independent experts, including the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, issued a press release today urging the Government of Guatemala to clarify the violent events that occurred on 4 October 2012 in the locality of Cumbre de Alaska, in the municipality of Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán, Sololá that resulted in the death of 6 indigenous persons, as well as 33 indigenous community members and 13 members of the military being injured.

"We urge the Government of Guatemala to continue to impartially investigate the events that occurred in order to determine the responsibility of not only those that participated in carrying out the crimes, but also of those in the chain of command," said the UN Special Rapporteurs on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, and the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai.

See the press release (in Spanish)


Tags: Guatemala
Namibia: UN expert calls for greater inclusion of indigenous peoples at all levels Print
28 September 2012

anaya-rapporteurThe United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, said today that indigenous communities in Namibia are demanding greater inclusion in decision-making at levels, increased educational opportunities and full recognition of traditional authorities representing minority communities.

"Like many other countries around the world that have experienced European colonization and waves of migration, indigenous groups that are in the minority in Namibia have suffered injustices in the past that leave them disadvantaged, to varying degrees, in the present," Mr. Anaya said at the end of his nine-day official visit to the country.

Read press release here.  See full end-of-mission statement here

Namibia: First visit by a UN expert on the rights of indigenous peoples Print
19 September 2012

map1-namibiaGENEVA (19 September 2012) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, will visit Namibia from 20 to 28 September 2012, to examine the situation of indigenous peoples in that country. This will be the first mission to Namibia by an independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to report on the rights of the indigenous peoples.

"I will examine the situation of indigenous peoples in Namibia in, among others, the areas of lands and resources, development, and social and economic rights, in light of relevant international standards including those in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the General Assembly in 2007 with an affirmative vote by Namibia," he said. The Special Rapporteur will carry out meetings with representatives of the Government of Namibia and with indigenous peoples and non-governmental organizations, in the capital city Windhoek, as well as in the regions of Tsumkwe, West Caprivi, Okuakuejo, and Opuko.

See press release

Special Rapporteur publishes report on the situation of indigenous peoples in the United States Print
11 September 2012

usa-mapGENEVA (11 September 2012) Today the Special Rapporteur made public his report on the situation of indigenous peoples in the United States. The report was developed on the basis of research and information gathered, including during the official visit to the country from 23 April to 4 May 2012. In the report, the Special Rapporteur calls on the United States authorities to adopt new measures "to advance toward reconciliation with indigenous peoples and address persistent deep-seated problems related to historical wrongs, failed policies of the past and continuing systematic barriers to the full realization of indigenous peoples' rights."

The report also stresses that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is an important impetus and guide for improving upon existing measures to address the concerns of indigenous peoples in the United States, and for developing new measures to advance towards reconciliation.

See the United Nations news release here and the report here. (English only)

Tags: USA
Annual report to the Human Rights Council including parts on violence against indigenous women and extractive industries Print
02 September 2012

human-rights-councilIn his recently released annual report to the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur provides a summary of his activities since his previous report to the Council (A/HRC/18/35), including his examination of the thematic issue of violence against indigenous women. He then reports on progress in his continuing study of issues relating to extractive industries operating on or near indigenous territories. The Special Rapporteur addresses issues that have arisen during his consultations over the past year with indigenous peoples, business enterprises, States and non-governmental organizations. In particular, he notes that a focus on the rights implicated in the context of a specific extractive or development projects is an indispensable starting point for discussions involving extractive industries operating in or near indigenous lands.

Read the report here

Information gathered on extractive industries in Australia Print
27 August 2012

2012-australia-extractive-industriesThe Special Rapporteur travelled to Australia from 20 to 24 August 2012 as part of his ongoing study on the thematic issue of extractive industries affecting indigenous peoples. During his time in the country, the Special Rapporteur participated in Melbourne in a roundtable discussion entitled “First Peoples and Extractive Industries: Good Practices,” hosted by the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. The roundtable was attended by key representatives of indigenous peoples, extractive industries, and the Government. The Special Rapporteur also travelled to the city of Perth and the Pilbara region in Western Australia, where he learned about models for benefit-sharing and other arrangements under which mining affecting indigenous lands is taking place throughout the region. These examples of models will provide an invaluable contribution to the Special Rapporteur’s report on the issue of extractive industries.

See media coverage

Tags: Australia
Joint Communications Report of Special Procedures Mandate Holders (1 December 2011 to 15 March 2012) Print
15 June 2012

oacnudh15 June 2012. The latest Joint Communications Report of Special Procedures Mandate Holders has been released by Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Report covers communications sent between 1 December 2011 to 15 March 2012, and the replies received from Governments between 1 February 2012 and 15 May 2012. Several letters sent by the Special Rapporteur James Anaya and replies received from governments concerning cases of alleged human rights violations of indigenous peoples are included on the Report.

Cases examined by the Special Rapporteur that are reflected in the report are from Australia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Canada, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Panama, and Philippines.

See the report here or go to specific case.

Consultation with indigenous people over land sale are needed Print
22 August 2012

james anaya22 August 2012. A United Nations independent expert today called on the United States Government and authorities in the state of South Dakota to start consultations with indigenous people on a land sale that will affect a site of spiritual significance to them.

Five tracts of land in the Black Hills area in South Dakota are scheduled to be auctioned on Saturday. The tracts lie within a site sacred to the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota peoples, known as Pe' Sla, said the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, in a news release issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

According to Mr. Anaya, the indigenous communities are concerned that the sale of the land will result in restrictions to their access and the use of Pe' Sla for ceremonial purposes. They are also concerned that it may lead to a road development project that would diminish the cultural and spiritual integrity of their sacred site.

Read more  and  see the News release

Government of El Salvador should adopt new measures to recover indigenous cultures and establish participatory mechanisms Print
17 August 2012

2012-08-15-elsalvadorSAN SALVADOR (17 August 2012) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, today urged the Government of El Salvador to adopt new measures to recover ancestral indigenous cultures and establish participatory mechanisms from their representative institutions within State decision making.

"The historical oppression of indigenous peoples and the suppression of their expression of identity have led to the large-scale loss of important aspects of this identity as well as many cultural and human aspects that it incorporates," said Mr. Anaya at the end of his mission to the country to evaluate the achievements and challenges of indigenous peoples, and in particular the Náhuas, Lencas, Pipiles and Kakawiras.

See the press release here. See the full end-of-mission statement by the Special Rapporteur here (Spanish)

Tags: El Salvador
Dialogue should be advanced to resolve the issue of military presence in indigenous territories in northern Cauca, Colombia Print
09 August 2012

james anayaGeneva (9 August 2012) The Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, issued a public statement calling on the Government of Colombia to advance in the process of dialogue recently initiated with indigenous authorities in the northern part of the Department of Cauca to address the military presence in Nasa territory among other matters. He stressed the need for the process of dialogue to adhere to international standards regarding the rights indigenous peoples.

Read the complete text of the declaration and the press release (Spanish).


Tags: Colombia

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